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Fasting veterans at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi (File Photo: PTI)[/caption]
The agitating ex-servicemen and the government appeared to have ironed out some major
differences over the contentious issue of one rank one pension with the defence veterans saying on Wednesday night that they may accept revision of pension once in two years instead of one year as demanded by them.
War veteran Maj Gen (retd) Satbir Singh, who has been leading the protest in Jantar Mantar for the last 80 days, said they have got positive signals from the government for
the last few days but stopped short of saying there was a breakthrough.
Singh said the issue was non-negotiable and both the elements of the OROPO concept cannot be interfered. An agreement can be reached once we know what is on the platter
(offer by the government), he said, adding effective date of revision must be from April 1, 2014.
The government, however, refrained from setting a timeline for resolving the OROP issue but said it is committed to implementing the promise, expressing confidence that a solution "acceptable to all" will be found "very soon".
"We will deliver OROP sooner than later to the satisfaction of all. We will do what is justifiable, what is convincing. After all, we are doing justice to society as a whole...I am not a jyotishi (astrologer) to tell you the exact date. Final solution you will see in few days," Union Minister Prakash Javadekar told Karan Thapar on India Today channel.
Rejecting contentions that the government was losing faith of ex-servicemen, he said he was sure that both sides will see reason. "We will deliver what we have promised," he said, but deflected questions on whether the government will implement OROP in toto, as promised.
He said updation of pension every year is an issue.
"Fine capability of politics is to avoid both resentment and financial strain," he said.
On whether government could have handled the OROP issue better, he said, the patience of ex-servicemen was getting exhausted after 10 years of rejection by the Congress
governments. "It is their fault that we are correcting," he said.
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Independent MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who has been mediating on the issue, said it was time veterans must return home with honour and grace by reaching an early settlement.
He urged them to accept the revision of pension every three years.
Meanwhile, not in the best of health yet undeterred, Colonel (retd) Pushpendra Singh Wednesday resumed his fast-unto-death demanding prompt implementation of One Rank,
One Pension scheme at Jantar Mantar in Nhours after he was discharged from an army hospital.
Singh, one of the ex-servicemen fasting in demand of the immediate implementation of the OROP scheme, was hospitalised Monday last the ninth day of his fast after his medical
report showed increased ketone levels.
ALSO READ: OROP Stir: 70-Year-Old Army Veteran Collapses; Hospitalised
Singh was admitted to the ICU of Army Hospital Research and Referral, from where he was discharged Wednesday.
Hours later, he returned to the protest site to join his fellow ex-servicemen, whose agitation entered the 80th day Wednesday.