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Business News/ Politics / Policy/  Rahul Gandhi hails ‘one-rank, one-pension’ historic; BJP calls it gimmick
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Rahul Gandhi hails ‘one-rank, one-pension’ historic; BJP calls it gimmick

BJP accused the UPA of 'paying lip service' to the cause of the defence personnel

Rahul Gandhi had last week assured a delegation of ex-servicemen of his support to the demand of one-rank-one-pension. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/MintPremium
Rahul Gandhi had last week assured a delegation of ex-servicemen of his support to the demand of one-rank-one-pension. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

New Delhi: As the government on Monday accepted the “one-rank, one-pension" demand of the ex-servicemen in the interim budget, Rahul Gandhi hailed the announcement as “historic" while BJP accused UPA of “paying lip service" to the cause of defence personnel.

The Congress vice-president, who had last week assured a delegation of ex-servicemen of his support to the demand, told reporters that “our forces are always ready to fight for the nation and people and it is our duty that we provide them all support.

“I thank the governmment, the prime minister and the Congress president for taking this historic step. Our government is fully behind them. They always stand behind the nation," he said.

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, however, questioned sincerity of the government, saying it had made similar promise earlier. “The UPA government has been paying lip service to cause of defence personnel. In the 2009-10 budget, a committee was set up and its recommendations were promised to be implemented. But the grievances remained as the approach was half-baked," said Jaitley. “The finance minister has again promised that this cause has been completely addressed. There should be no attempt to play with the aspirations of our armed force."

Trinamool Congress termed the finance minister’s announcement a “gimmick on our brave soldiers", wondering if a small outlay of 500 crore would be enough.

“UPA’s made promises for others to keep. ‘One-rank, one-pay’ is too late, with too small an outlay ( 500 crore). A gimmick on our brave soldiers," TMC spokesperson Derek O’Brien said.

The government on Monday accepted the long-standing demand of ex-servicemen for "one-rank, one-pension" and allocated 500 crore for the fund, a decision that is expected to benefit around 30 lakh retired personnel of the armed forces.

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Published: 17 Feb 2014, 11:02 PM IST
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