Morena (MP): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday accused the Congress of dragging its feet on implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for defence forces and said it was his government that executed the policy and has so far deposited Rs 70,000 crore into the bank accounts of eligible retired personnel.
The PM said his government opened the doors of Sainik Schools for girls and facilitated the deployment of women officers in forward areas.
“The Congress did not fulfil the demand for OROP implementation and earmarked just Rs 500 crore for it despite knowing well that the amount was very less. When the BJP came to power at the Centre in 2014, it fulfilled the long-pending demand of ex-servicemen and so far, the government has paid Rs 70,000 crore to them under the scheme,” Modi maintained.
OROP means soldiers of the same rank and the same length of service get the same pension, irrespective of their retirement date.
The BJP’s star campaigner was addressing a public meeting in Morena ahead of the November 17 assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh.
The Gwalior-Chambal division, where Morena is located, is an area from where a large number of youths join the armed forces.
Modi alleged the Congress has always played with the country’s security and pointed out one of the first scams that came to light after Independence was associated with the defence forces.
The Congress had made the defence forces dependent on foreign weapons and deprived them of modern arms for fighting adversaries, he said.
“It (the Congress) remained silent even when terrorists decapitated our soldiers and did not do anything,” said Modi.
However, things have changed under the BJP government, he asserted.
“But today’s India is different and terrorists are given befitting replies in their own languages by storming their hideouts. The armed forces are equipped with modern arms and facilities and have been provided with the Made-in-India weaponry,” he said.
Modi slammed the Congress over then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement that Muslims have the first claim on the country’s resources.
‘We say the poor have the first right on the nation’s resources. For Modi, the poor is the biggest caste and the largest beneficiaries of Garib Kalyan Yojna (Centre’s free ration scheme) are the people belonging to SC/ST and OBC categories,’ said the PM.
Modi said his government has given a guarantee of providing pucca houses to the poor and so far, 48 lakh homes had been given to beneficiaries in Madhya Pradesh.
The PM said the Ayushman Yojna was another guarantee of the government and it ensures every person gets medical treatment up to Rs 5 lakh free of cost and does not suffer in absence of money.
(Published 08 November 2023, 17:49 IST)