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India


Chandrasekhar flays Rahul Gandhi for seeking political opportunism on OROP

Chandrasekhar flays Rahul Gandhi for seeking political opportunism on OROP

New Delhi, Nov 4 (UNI) The Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar has joined the issue with Congress vice- president Rahul Gandhi on the high-voltage One-Rank-One-Pension (OROP) scheme controversy vis-a-vis suicide of an ex-serviceman and questioned the locus standi of Congress party over it. Urging Mr Gandhi from staying away from "political opportunism", he said such grandstanding would not serve much purpose. "I had first written to you on OROP and other armed forces related issues way back in 2011 but you neither replied to it nor took any action," Mr Chandrashekhar accused Rahul Gandhi in an open letter. The vocal member of Parliament, Chandrasekhar, also a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence, accused that the UPA government from 2004 to 2014 had ignored the issue of sanctioning OROP for ex-servicemen despite taking a pledge about it in 2004 election manifesto. Rahul Gandhi has been detained thrice in last two days over staging protest on the OROP issue and for alleged ill-treatment of a family of an ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal, who allegedly committed suicide, flaying Modi government for not implementing OROP effectively. "Perhaps you also need to be reminded that in 2008 the then Defence Minister A K Antony stated that the UPA government had not found the OROP demand acceptable," the lawmaker Chandrasekhar wrote and even alleged while Congress president Sonia Gandhi had raised OROP issue in 2002 "at a political rally" but neither Ms Gandhi nor the UPA dispensation implemented it during the two stints of the erstwhile UPA governments. Chandrasekhar also alleged that decades back in 1972-73, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had in "one stroke terminated the OROP after 1971 Indo-Pak war". He said despite constraints and objections from the Union Finance Ministry, the incumbent Narendra Modi-led regime announced implementation of OROP costing almost Rs 8,300 crore per annum and a one time cost of more than Rs 20,000 crore. Alleging that Rahul Gandhi has not responded to his (Chandasekhar's) earlier letters, the lawmaker observed rather acidly, "Grandstanding and political opportunism tends to stale rapidly and hypocrisy even faster". UNI XC NB PS 0741

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