Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured the ex-servicemen that his government will soon resolve the tangles related to the “One rank, One pension” (OROP) issue and that interests of retired defence personnel is a “matter of faith and expression of patriotism” for him.
“Interests of the former defence personnel is a matter of faith and expression of patriotism for me,” Modi said in his radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
Seeking more time from ex-servicemen, Modi said: “This government, and I repeat, this government will give a solution to OROP.”
“I am not talking as a prime minister. For 40 years, this (OROP) question has been persisting. Nothing has happened so far,” he added.
He said different departments of the government have been working on it, but the issue is very complicated and remaining pending for 40 years has made it more complicated.
“It is not as simple as we thought, it is complicated. and 40 years have added to the complications. Government is finding ways to make it simple and acceptable to all,” said Modi.
“There is no need to give reports in media about every step. I assure you, this government will bring to you a solution on ‘One rank, One pension’,” he said.
Miffed over their long-pending demand of OROP not being met, veterans from the armed forces have said they were ready for a protracted fight with the central government and would launch an agitation next month.
Describing the issue as complicated and pending for the past 40 years, Modi said the concerned officials in the government were engaged to find a solution to this issue and asked the ex-servicemen not to be swayed by politics on the issue.
“I will request all soldiers, those who are trying to politicise the issue, have been playing with you for 40 years… I don’t want to take any steps that make the issue more complicated,” he said.
“Give me some time, you have been patient for 40 years, give some time to me as well, give me a chance to work on it and we will solve all the problems,” the prime minister said.
Expressing satisfaction over the recently launched social security schemes, Modi said he wants to create an “army of poor against poverty”.
“Over 8.52 crore people have joined the schemes in just 20 days. This shows people’s faith in central government’s social uplifting initiatives for them,” Modi said in the 8th edition of ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
The schemes – Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Atal Pension Yojana – were very important initiatives in the direction of ensuring social security, he added.
He said it was unthinkable of security scheme at a token payment of Rs.1 per month and added: “The government wants to see the poor self-empowered so that he need not depend on others for self survival.”
On the occasion, the prime minister also said Yoga has become a catalytic agent to connect the world and is very much relevant in the context of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (the world is one family).
Modi appealed to the countrymen to make ‘International Yoga Day’, to be celebrated on June 21, a success.
He also urged them to become Yoga ambassador and make this important knowledge easily available to the world for the welfare of mankind.
Terming the recently launched DD Kisan Channel “an open University of farmers”, Modi said: “There is something for everyone engaged in the agriculture and allied sectors.”
Modi added that the channel has a lot for fishermen as well and they must take maximum advantage from the channel in modernising their vocation.
Congratulating students who passed the Central Board of Second Education examinations, Modi asked them to pick up the future course of study on the basis of their aptitude.
“The students who have not succeeded in their examinations need not be disheartened and take it as an opportunity to find new avenues,” Modi said, adding that “success and failure are a part of life. We can learn a lot from failure also”.