OROP: Modi seeks time to resolve the issue

‘People who did nothing when they were in power are trying to play politics’

Updated - November 16, 2021 05:34 pm IST

Published - June 01, 2015 03:18 am IST - NEW DELHI

Conscious of the political backlash over the delay in implementing the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for ex-servicemen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday used his monthly radio broadcast to articulate his personal commitment to seeing it through, adding that it is not just an issue of politics or governance for him, but a “symbol of my patriotism.”

In his 24-minute address – during which he also reached out to the other troubled constituency, farmers -- OROP was the only subject into which he injected politics; beginning by asking whether any previous government had tried to resolve the vexed issue over the past 40 years.

Admitting that the issue was more complex than he had anticipated, the Prime Minister said the departments concerned were at work trying to iron out the rough spots.

He did not offer any timeline by which OROP would be rolled out and sought to explain the government’s silence over the issue. “It’s not necessary to give the media minute-to-minute details on what we are doing; no running commentary is required. We are committed to it; a soldier is important to the ideology in which we have grown.”

Urging soldiers to trust him, Mr. Modi said the ongoing effort was to resolve the issue, not complicate it further. As for the politics around OROP and the flak that the government is getting for delaying its implementation – for which the former UPA government had made an initial budgetary allocation in its twilight days, and has been promised by the Modi administration time and again -- he said: “People who did nothing to resolve the issue are again playing politics over it. Let them. You have been patient for 40 years. Give me some time so that we can together find a way out.”

Social safety web

For farmers and the poor, besides talking about Kisan Channel, the Prime Minister flagged the social safety web the government is weaving through low-premium insurance policies. In just 20 days, over eight crore people have enrolled in the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, he added.

With the first International Yoga Day to be celebrated on June 21, Mr. Modi used his broadcast to enlist participation to make the day a success not just in India but the world over. “The world has recognised Yoga’s greatness; it is time we in India do too.”

Ahead of the broadcast, the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry sought to build some curiosity around the eighth edition of Mann ki Baat, placing advertisements in newspapers with the question: “Farmers, Students or Army Personnel... or all of us! Who will the PM share his ‘Mann ki Baat’ with?” In the end, farmers, students – school-leavers, in particular – and Army personnel found mention as opposed to his earlier broadcasts where Mr. Modi would pick one subject and stick to it.

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