OROP Protest Team Splits; No Change in Agitation Plans, says UFESM
“The joint action organization that went on a fast unto death and relay fasts demanding the immediate implementation of OROP has split.”
The United Front of Ex-Servicemen Movement (UFESM), which stood united and showed the kind of determination that made even the stubborn Centre fall on its knees, has now split. It is worth mentioning here that the split in the veterans group had occurred after the success of the protest.
There are plenty of ex-servicemen’s associations in India. Around 40 such associations had united to launch the protests demanding OROP. Three months ago, these associations came together and stepped up their protests.
UFESM began its relay fast in Jantar Mantar, which soon caught the attention of the entire nation. The relay fast became fast unto death at one stage, demanding the immediate implementation of OROP. One could say that almost all the newspapers and mediahouses in the country were in support of the ex-servicemen who were demanding the OROP scheme.
The centre, which was dragging the issue for various reasons, at one point, came under attack from all quarters, and had no choice but to announce the implementation of OROP.
On September 5, the Minister of Defence announced the OROP scheme. As soon as the announcement was made, the UFESM ended its fast-unto-death protests. Yet, there were some clauses that UFESM was not happy with, and said that relay fasts against those clauses would continue.
Meanwhile, the team under the leadership of Balbir Singh announced yesterday that it was quitting the UFESM. They have accused lack of discipline and unity, and the politicizing of the issue to be the reasons for their decision to quit. The aim of the protests was to make the government announce the OROP, which has been achieved. Protests could also be held against some of the sticking anomalies in the OROP, but that will have to wait until the Government implements the order in writing, says Balbir Singh.
But, UFESM has announced that, as planned earlier, the EKTA Rally procession will be held at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar in Saturday.