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Ex-servicemen to intensify stir over OROP

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New Delhi: As the agitation by ex-servicemen demanding the implementation of the ‘One Rank One Pension’ scheme continued for the 31st day here on Tuesday, the protesting veterans said they would intensify their stir after a week.

Credits-www.indianexpress.com

“We decided to scale up the agitation from tomorrow (Wednesday), but we will wait for another seven days…if the government does not keep its promise we will launch agitation across the country,” United Front of Ex-Servicemen Morcha (UFESM) spokesperson Col. Anil Kaul (retd) said at a press conference here.

The protest would be taken to poll-bound states if the central government did not keep its promise of implementing the OROP, Kaul said.

“In August, we will launch an agitation in Bihar and hold a ‘Maha Sangram Rally’ in Patna,” Kaul said.

He said their agitation would be intensified next in Punjab.

The ex-servicemen assured that the common man would not be affected by their ongoing agitation.

The Morcha leaders also said they would continue to boycott all government functions in protest against the delay in grant of OROP by the government.

Lt. Gen. Balbir Singh (retd.) questioned the delay in acceptance of their demand by the NDA government headed by Narendra Modi.

“The government said money is no problem…so financial problems are gone…as far as administrative problems are concerned, all those who are getting pension are already on the rolls. There is no legal hassle either…,” he said.

“If they (government) are saying other government employees will also demand similar pension structure, our point is: The working conditions of a soldier are different from anyone else…the life expectancy of soldiers is less than those in the civilian jobs because of the working conditions; and then, they are not taken care of post- retirement,” he said.

Maj. Gen Satbir Singh (retd), chairman of the Indian ex-Servicemen Movement, meanwhile clarified that there cannot be OROP for major general rank officers only.

“An impression in relation to a case going on in the Supreme Court is that OROP will be given only to major general-ranked officers. All 254 major general-ranked officers, who are signatories in the case, have made it clear that they will not take OROP unless it is for all (ex-servicemen),” said Singh.

Ex-servicemen are demanding that the government give them a definite date for implementation of the OROP. They have also demanded that the nature of the scheme should not be changed.

Currently, the pension for retired personnel is based on the pay commission recommendations in force at the time of their retirement.

This leads to difference in pensions of officers of the same rank who retire on different dates.

The protesting veterans launched an agitation on June 14, and have been sitting on a relay hunger strike since June 15 at the Jantar Mantar in the national capital.

(IANS)

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Willing To Shut Government Over Wall Funding: Trump

The House Republicans have always wanted to secure the border, the House Republicans have been passing bills to secure our border.

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U.S. Border Patrol officers on horseback watch President Donald Trump (not pictured) review border wall prototypes in San Diego. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump says he would “totally be willing” to partially shut down the government next week if he does not get more funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to thwart Central American migrants from entering the country.

The U.S. leader, who almost daily unleashes verbal attacks on migrants trying to cross into the United States, told the Politico news site he is insisting that $5 billion for wall construction be included in measures Congress needs to approve to keep several federal agencies open after their current spending authority expires December 7.

Opposition Democrats have said they will approve $1.6 billion for the wall, leaving the two sides far apart. Some Republicans are also opposed to Trump’s wall, which he vowed in his 2016 presidential campaign would be paid for by Mexico, although he now wants U.S. taxpayers to foot the bill.

 

Trump, Government
President Donald Trump listens to a question as he speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. VOA

“I am firm,” Trump said of his $5 billion demand.

“I don’t do anything … just for political gain,” Trump said. “But I will tell you, politically speaking, that issue is a total winner. People look at the border, they look at the rush to the police, they look at the rock throwers and really hurting three people, three very brave border patrol folks. I think that it’s a tremendous issue, but much more importantly, is really needed. So, we have to have border security.”

Trump was referencing a Sunday confrontation at the border in which migrants hurled rocks at U.S. Border Patrol officers, with agents repelling the crowd with blasts of tear gas. Rodney Scott, the chief Border Patrol agent in San Diego, California, just north of the Mexican border, said agents were not seriously injured.

“Their shields and their bulletproof vests actually protected them from the rocks,” he said. “We did have a few vehicles that were damaged, some windows and quite a few dents, but none of the agents were seriously injured.”

Donald Trump, democrats, government
U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledges supporters as he arrives for a campaign rally at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana. VOA

Even as Trump voiced his determination to win congressional approval for the $5 billion in initial funding for a wall estimated to cost more than $20 billion, he told The Washington Post in a separate interview that he could find other ways to build the wall or add more security along the border.

“I think that’s been shown better than ever in the last short period of two weeks that we need a wall,” Trump told the newspaper. “I see the Democrats are going to want to do something, because they understand, too. Those pictures are very bad for the Democrats. We’re not having a wall because of the Democrats. We need Democrat votes to have a wall.”

“Now, if we don’t get it, will I get it done another way? I might get it done another way,” he declared. “There are other potential ways that I can do it. You saw what we did with the military, just coming in with the barbed wire and the fencing, and various other things.”

Trump, Government
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin returns to Capitol Hill following a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House. VOA

House Speaker Paul Ryan, leader of the current majority Republican bloc in the House of Representatives, told reporters Wednesday that after the nationwide congressional elections in early November, “hopefully … Democrats realize that a secure border should not be a Republican thing, it shouldn’t be a Democrat thing, it’s just good for the country. To actually secure our border. The House is there. We hope the Senate comes with us.”

Also Read: USA Finally Votes On Tuesday To Render Decision On Trump

He added, “Turn on the TV, you can see we have a problem at the border. So, we want to secure our border. The House Republicans have always wanted to secure the border, the House Republicans have been passing bills to secure our border, and I’d like to think that Democrats would also want to join us in securing the border, especially after the election.” (VOA)