Tanda, Himachal Pradesh
March 20, 2014
- Philosophy of the defence forces and the Congress is the same: We do not discriminate. We do not leave anyone behind.
- Congress Vice President interacted with hundreds of ex-servicemen in Himachal Pradesh
In his third interaction with the ex-servicemen, Congress Vice President, Mr. Rahul Gandhi drew a strong analogy between the philosophy of the defence forces and that of the Congress party and assured them of his support. “In the army, you don’t ask which religion does a soldier or officer belongs to or what his or her caste is. For you everybody is an Indian. It is the same philosophy of oneness which is the philosophy of the Congress party. We do not discriminate,” he said. The similarities do not end there. Like the defence forces, the Congress does not believe in leaving anyone behind, no matter how small they are, he added. Mr. Rahul Gandhi shared his sentiments at a dialogue with ex-servicemen from Himachal Pradesh in the small town of Tanda.
The ex-servicemen thanked Mr. Rahul Gandhi for his efforts in ensuring the 32- year old demand of “One Rank, One Pension” is cleared. “This was essential for the ex-servicemen and the armed forces and has boosted their morale. You are a man of action and a doer” said retired General K.S.Jamwal who was present at the dialogue.
The ex-servicemen shared a host of issues with Mr. Rahul Gandhi, including concerns over implementation of the OROP policy, tension with the bureaucracy, lateral entry for young officers in the defence into para-military and other forces, increasing pension for widows of ex-servicemen, representation in the seventh pay commission, among other things.
Mr. Rahul Gandhi told the gathering that his doors are always open and that he does not believe in giving false promises. “For me politics is about credibility. I do not believe in giving you empty promises. When you came to meet me in Delhi, I assured you that we will put all our efforts and energy into it and we succeeded.
Highlighting the difference in ideologies, Mr. Rahul Gandhi accused the opposition of practising discriminatory politics. “The Congress party believes in utilizing the energy of every Indian. Our opposition thinks that the country can be run by big businessmen and not the poor or marginalized. In large parts of the country, they practice politics of discrimination.
Retired Colonel Dharmendar Singh Patyal, who was present at the gathering, expressed his happiness over the interaction. “A one-to-one interaction makes a lot of difference. He is making the effort to listen to us and different communities and groups in India,” he said.