Former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi that if his government can provide Jammu and Kashmir with a special package of Rs 1 lakh crore, what prevents it from sparing Rs 9,100 crore for 'one rank, one pension' (OROP) for ex-servicemen?
In a statement issued here on Thursday, Amarinder regretted the "long and unexplained delay in granting OROP to ex-servicemen by the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government, even though the previous UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government had approved it already".
He reminded the PM of the promises he had made to ex-servicemen on the issue before the Lok Sabha elections. "More than a year has passed since you formed the government, and still the matter is being delayed deliberately," he told Modi, adding: "This delay amounts to virtual denial." He wondered whether Rs 9,100 crore was too much really for a country such as India, "that too when it is meant for our retired defence personnel".
The former CM said the veteran soldiers had given their life for the country in guarding her borders in most hostile conditions. "Most of them have spent their entire professional life in Kashmir and many have died for the sake of the country," he said, wondering "how can the government be so insensitive to their genuine and justified demand".