New Delhi, Aug 21: At a time when former Army veterans are continuing their protest over One Rank One pension, former Army chief Gen V P Malik has revealed why Modi government could not make the big announcement on August 15.Malik has said that Prime minister was all set to announce the scheme on the Independence day but some last moment hiccups prevented him to do so.
According to the Indian Express, Malik who acted as the mediator on the issue said that scheme could not be announced as the last minute talk between PMO and groups of ex servicemen which was aimed to fine tune the nuances of the scheme failed.
Malik has written an email to former Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta where former revealed that PMO had called him to resolve the stalemate on August 10.
"On 10th August morning, I got a call from Principal Secretary (PS) to the PM stating that the PM desired me to discuss Govt position on OROP with agitation leaders and try to resolve this issue so that he can announce it on 15th August", Malik wrote in email.
Talking about the failure of the scheme, Mailik said that Government was ready to pay "less than what had been worked out earlier", which didn't augur well among ex-servicemen. Army veterans rejected the idea saying that it violates the basic concept of the pension scheme.
The Indian Express quotes Malik acknowledging the truth that disagreements were there over many issues including the basic definition of OROP.
Hero of 1999 Kargil victory, Malik writes that when he got call from PMO, initially he was very reluctant to move ahead on the issue. When he was convinced by groups of ex servicemen-Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) and Indian Ex-Servicemen League (IESL), Malik decided to meet PMO's Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra.
Writing about the meeting, he said, "He (PS) and the joint secretary (JS) dealing with this subject in the PMO briefed me on the govt stand. In the evening, all the three of us... together were briefed by the JS. Looking at the government position... we felt that we can not represent the government or the agitators but will remain go-between only and try if we can bridge the gap".
Malik writes that after meeting with PMO, he met with group of ex servicemen too. Finally I updated both side with the developments.
As Government's final stand was to pay less that what had been worked out earlier, things didn't work out.