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Uttam accuses PM Modi of insulting soldiers

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President N. Uttam Kumar Reddy has held BJP-led NDA Government responsible for the suicide of Subedar Ram Kishan Grewal in New Delhi over non-implementation of ‘One Rank One Pension’ scheme. He also condemned the detention of AICC Vice-President Rahul Gandhi who went to meet Grewal’s family members.

Addressing a press conference at his residence in Banjara Hills on Wednesday evening, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that Subedar Grewal’s suicide has exposed the non-commitment of NDA Government in implementing the OROP scheme in a meaningful way. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been making tall statements in honour of armed forces, but the reality is entire different and he has been insulting soldiers with his actions, he alleged.

He said that the previous UPA Government has passed the OROP Act in Parliament in February 2014 for the welfare of all soldiers. However, the BJP Government completely diluted the scheme by reducing the amounts to 50-60% of what was originally envisaged. The BJP Government has also reduced Disability Pension for jawans who risked their lives by participating in operations against enemies, he said.

Uttam Kumar Reddy, who himself had served as Flight Lieutenant in Indian Air Force (IAF), said that the BJP Government has also reduced Pay & Allowances and Protocol of soldiers vis-a-vis Civilians officers under the 7th Pay Commission. For instance, earlier the rank of a Brigadier in Army was equivalent to that of an Inspector General of Police. But now it has been scaled down to that of a DIG.

He said that Subeder Grewal has clearly mentioned in his suicide note that non-implementation of OROP has driven him to extreme step. However, Union Minister V.K. Singh made a highly condemnable statement questioning the mental condition of Subedar Grewal. “V.K. Singh’s statement shows that he himself is not possessing a sound mind and therefore, trying to downplay the suicide by a retired soldier,” he said.

Condemning the arrest of Subedar Grewal’s kin by the Delhi police, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the police also detained AICC Vice-President Rahul Gandhi who went to meet the family members. “This is completely undemocratic and highly condemnable,” he said.

The TPCC chief pointed out that Rahul Gandhi has written a letter to the Prime Minister about 15 days ago seeking meaningful implementation of OROP. Rahul Gandhi has highlighted the specific flaws and anomalies in OROP, Disability Pension and 7th Pay Commission which were detrimental to the interest of both serving and retired soldiers. “The Prime Minister did not take note of Rahul Gandhi’s letter and deliberately insulting the soldiers,” he alleged.

When asked for reaction on road scam in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), Uttam Kumar Reddy said that Municipal Administration Minister K. Tarakarama Rao was answerable for the same and he must give a detailed clarification. (INN)