New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday took a jibe at Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of betraying soldiers and ex-servicemen by “lying” about OROP scheme implementation.
The BJP leader also termed it an “irresponsible behaviour” by a national leader to “exploit the tragedy” of the suicide of a former soldier over implementation of the One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme.
“No one should try to change a personal tragedy into political gain, especially a party whose fortune is already sinking,” Jaitley told reporters here at a press conference.
He said that for 10 years, when the Congress-led UPA was in power, it did not initiate any meaningful step to implement the scheme.
“It was only before 2014 Lok Sabha elections that the UPA formed a committee to workout functional modalities. It was obvious that it was filled with political motives. If the UPA government was so much concerned, why did it not shell out a single rupee for the OROP?” Jaitley said.
Jaitley’s comments came hours after Rahul Gandhi accused Modi of betraying soldiers and former servicemen by “lying” about implementation of the OROP scheme.
The Congress leader also sought a government apology for the police manhandling of the family of retired Subedar Ram Kishan Grewal, who killed himself by swallowing poison over the scheme for ex-servicemen on Tuesday.
Gandhi, who was detained by Delhi Police thrice in two days over the issue, told the media here that he met some 80 ex-servicemen and “they said what Modiji is calling OROP implementation is only pension enhancement”.
“Narendra Modiji, you should stop lying and work to implement the OROP scheme,” the Congress leader said.