Chandigarh, September 8, 2015: Union Food Processing Industry minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today while welcoming the manner in which the NDA government had acceded and resolved all demands of ex servicemen on OROP, said it was strange that senior Congress leaders including "proud soldier" Capt Amarinder Singh had only paid lip service to this cause.
Stating the truth had finally been laid bare before the people, Mrs Badal said the grand standing done by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi by visits to the dharna site of the army veterans had also been exposed. "It's obvious Rahul Gandhi thought a demand which his own government did not accede to for ten years would be difficult to ratify by the NDA. But apparently Rahul forgot that the NDA does what it promises and would never let down the proud soldiers who had sacrificed so much for the country".
Lashing out at the Congress party for playing petty politics on the issue, Mrs. Badal said the NDA government had fulfilled its promise of implementing OROP in just 15 months vis a vis the Congress which failed to implement OROP in a decade. She also reminded the Congress party that In 1973 the Indian National Congress (INC) government headed by Mrs Indira Gandhi had terminated OROP in an ex-parte decision following the third Central Pay Commission.
She said the Congress leaders who were shedding crocodile tears while ex-servicemen were on an indefinite fast, had forgotten that like other anti national decisions, the termination of OROP was also a Congress decision. "This caused disquiet in the armed forces and eventually became a cause for public protests by its veterans", Mrs Badal added.
Speaking about Capt Amarinder Singh, Mrs Badal said the "proud soldier" had done absolutely nothing to get the demand of One Rank One Pension (OROP) accepted by the earlier UPA government. She said even recently the Amritsar MP failed to take up this demand effectively in parliament despite being deputy leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha. "What is the use of empty statements from the luxury of your drawing room when you failed to raise your voice in favour of the soldiers in parliament", Mrs Badal asked.
The Union minister said it was not only the soldiers whom Amarinder had betrayed. "He has also betrayed the people of the holy city of Amritsar who elected him to parliament with a huge margin". She said the Amritsar MP had never raised any issue of the holy city or its people in parliament and was now angling to resign as MP as he wanted to lead the Punjab Congress in the next assembly elections in Punjab. Mrs Badal said instead of paying any attention to the people of Amritsar Capt Amarinder was focussing only on ousting Punjab Congress President Capt Amarinder Singh. "Once that is done he will not even visit Punjab leave aside Amritsar till the eve of the elections", Mrs Badal added.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015