Days after the government announced the >One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme, serious differences have cropped up in the >United Front of Ex-Servicemen Movement (UFESM), the umbrella organisation leading the protests, with Lt Gen (retd) Balbir Singh's group walking out of the group citing “lack of cohesiveness” and politicisation of the movement. The development comes ahead of a planned mega rally on Saturday at Jantar Mantar.
“We have informed the UFESM about our decision to withdraw from the grouping. The movement is no longer cohesive,” said Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Balbir Singh, president of Indian Ex-Servicemen League.
Lt. Gen. Singh along with Maj. Gen. (retd.) >Satbir Singh , Chairman of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement has been a key negotiator representing the veterans in talks with the government.
Observing that his group was “apolitical,” Lt. Gen Singh said he did not approve the rally on Saturday and also the planned rallies in poll bound Bihar.
However, UFESM has said in a statement that the rally will go on. “It is an attempt by the government to break us. We will not be deterred and the rally will go on as planned,” said Col. (Retd.) Anil Kaul, media advisor to the UFESM.
While the veterans have called off the indefinite fast after the announcement by the government they stated that the protests would continue till all their demands were met. They have disagreed to some of the proposals as put forward by the government. (With inputs from PTI)