Advani to hear grievances of retired soldiers


New Delhi : National Democratic Alliance (NDA) prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani, who has assured retired soldiers that he will fulfill their “one rank one pension” demand, will meet the former defence personnel here later Thursday to hear their grievances.

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“Advani will interact with ex-servicemen on their demand for ‘one rank one pension’ this afternoon,” a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) official said.

In pursuit of their demand for “one rank one pension”, the retired soldiers of varying ranks have returned to the president more than 10,000 medals won in combat and for distinguished service.

For the first time Monday, Advani openly backed the ex-servicemen and promised that his party would implement the “one rank one pension” policy if voted to power in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

“I was pained to see that many ex-servicemen recently gave up their bravery medals in protest against the non-fulfilment of this demand. My party has considered this matter in its totality,” Advani had said.

Former soldiers under the aegis of the Indian Ex-servicemen Movement are demanding that irrespective of the date on which the soldier retires he or she should get the same pension, which rises every time there is a wage revision.

The demand has now arisen because of the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, which did not address the “one rank one pension” issue. The government has rejected the demand on administrative and financial grounds.