Former chief of the army staff Gen VK Singh has urged political parties to meet the demand for one rank, one pension to pocket nearly 10 crore votes of ex-servicemen, serving personnel and their families.
"Political parties have failed to meet the long-pending demand for one rank, one pension," Gen Singh said at a rally of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) in Pataudha village, 22 km from the district headquarters, on Sunday.
The votes of ex-servicemen, serving personnel and their families settled in Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra add up to nearly 10 crore, the retired army chief said, adding that the political parties could cash in on this vote bank by one stroke - by accepting one rank, one demand pension.
Taking potshots at the bureaucracy, he said: "The dominant 'babu culture' never want the defence personnel to get their rights. During my stint as the chief of the army staff, the defence minister had given nod to many welfare programmes for the defence personnel but the related files never came out from the bureaucratic circles."
He was equally critical of the defence personnel for their plight. "You people are made to suffer because your vote bank is not consolidated. The day you dissolve differences on the basis of caste, culture and religion, and start putting up a united face, you will get your due."
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