RSS prods government on OROP, Economic issues figure at the joint meet

New Delhi: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has suggested to the government that it take a decision on implementing one rank, one pension, the long-pending demand of retired servicemen.


Policemen keep vigil from the top of the Madhyanchal Bhavan where BJP-RSS meeting was being held, in New Delhi on Wednesday PTI

This was conveyed to senior ministers on the sidelines of a coordination meeting (Samanvya Baithak) of the RSS and its affiliates, according to sources. The Sangh was of the view that the government should roll out the decisions which it had taken and other nitty-gritties, which needed to be resolved, could be left to a committee, sources said.

The ex-servicemen are on a hunger strike protesting against delay in OROP, a promise made by the BJP in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.

However, on the first day of the three-day RSS meeting, attended by the Sangh brass, senior ministers and BJP leaders, issues related to economy, agriculture and security are understood to have come up for discussion. BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said OROP was not discussed at the meeting.

“Broad national issues are on agenda and will being discussed. There will be exchange of views and notes of various leaders of the Sangh Parivar organizations. National security, economic development, agriculture growth and social issues are to be discussed. It is about how we will move ahead in the future,” he told reporters.

Sangh sources have made it clear that the meeting will neither review the government’s performance nor take any decisions, though issues of social and national interest could figure in deliberations. The BJP described the interaction as an exercise to exchange notes. A Sangh leader said decisions were rarely taken at such structured meetings.

Almost the entire parliamentary board of the BJP, barring Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is likely to attend the last day of the meeting, were present. Finance minister Arun Jaitley, home minister Rajnath Singh, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu, chemicals and fertilisers minister Ananth Kumar, health minister JP Nadda and party president Amit Shah were among those present in the meeting. Commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman, agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh and micro, small and medium enterprises minister Kalraj Mishra joined the post-lunch session.

The meeting being held in the Capital was attended by around 95 members of the RSS, its affiliates and the BJP.