In a major development, former Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria (Retd) warned against political attempts to create a wedge between officers and jawans over the ‘one rank one pension’ issue. “I got more concerned in the last one-odd week when a different twist to this is being given in terms of creating a wedge between officers and men. That officers are getting more (in the OROP) which is taking a political colour,” ACM Bhadauria (retd) said today.
He was addressing the meeting of the Air Force Association which is a veterans’ body and headed by him. He asked the gathering attended mainly by the veterans from the Indian Air Force to stay away from politics or agitations over issues related to the forces.
His comment comes soon after a video of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi went viral in defence circles where it was mentioned that the officers are getting more monetary benefits from the OROP scheme whereas the jawans who form the bulk of the fighting forces are getting a lesser amount. “We must stay away from this. There is nothing like this, there is no merit in these arguments. I am aware of every single anomaly and case that has been taken up…I must clearly spell out that in these political times, we must stay away from politics of it.
Whatever is correct and justified, which needs to be taken up, must be taken up through the right channels. That is the only way result comes, that is the only way the issue will get addressed,” he said. Addressing the veterans, he said that there are anomalies that have come up in the schemes which include, “One is from Pay Commission and all its anomalies and the other is some One Rank One Pension (OROP)-related anomalies which have all been taken up by the Service with the Ministry.
The fact that it is taking longer to resolve does not mean that it is not in the process. OROP scheme was given to the veterans which means that people retiring from the same rank would get the same pension irrespective of the time they have retired from the defence forces.