28.08.91

*t03

RE. ONE RANK ONE PENSION

[Translation]

SHRI RAM VILAS PASWAN (Rosera): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to draw your attention to a very important matter which has been engaging the attention of the House for quite sometime. The Ex-servicemen are sitting on dharna at the Boat Club for the last three days. I think, the hon. Members from both sides,whether they belong to the Treasury Benches or to the opposition whole heartedly support the demands of ex-servicemen. When the Congress (I) was in power in 1982, the Supreme Court had given a verdict in connection with `One Rank One Pension'following which a high level Committee headed by Shri K. P.

Singh Deo was constituted in 1984. That Committee made 62recommendations including the one which rated to `One Rank One Pension.' I would like to submit that the ex-servicemen are a treasure of this country and they have a great contribution to the security of this country. They are sitting on dharna for the last three days in rain. The leader of the House Shri Arjun Singh is present here.

Members belonging to both sides of the House are well aware that the demands of the ex-servicemen are quite justified and the Government has accepted this fact. I would urge that the Government should adopt a positive approach towards their demands and give assurance to the effect that it will not only consider their demands but will also accept them in consonance with the announcement made by the former National Front Government.

[English]

SHRI JASWANT SINGH (Chittorgarh): Mr. Speaker Sir, I have

requested your permission to make a brief reference to the question of one rank-one pension. The Indian Ex-Servicemen League has organised a protest Dharnafor the last three days at the Boat Club and all parties have unanimously supported their demand for one rank-one

545 Re. One rank one pension

pension. Indeed, it is part of the cut motions that have been moved by my colleague Shri Madan Lal Khurana and they will be featured when the Demands for Grants for the Ministry of Defence are taken up. But it cannot be so simple. In 1984 a high power committee was appointed by late Shrimati Indira Gandhi and I had the honour of being a member of that Committee. Ever since then, this request for one rank-one pension is being made and the Committee itself had recommended it to the Government. Subsequently, the Government, after examining the recommendations, found it fit for implementation. The previous Government indeed went quite a bit forward. It finalised the recommendation. But at the stage of finalisation, changes took place.

It is our appeal to the present Government to implement this proposal of one rank one pension which has been pending for the last seven years and has agitated the entire category of ex-servicemen for very many years ... The Defence Minister has also just walked into the House ... (Interruptions) By my understanding the total amount involved, excluding the officer category whose number is only 25,000, is not more than Rs. 250 crores or Rs. 270 crores for the first year itself. It should not be difficult for the Government to find Rs. 270 crore when they had the ability to find Rs. 100 crore for a virtually non existent foundation. The total number of exservicemen, excluding 25,000 in the officer rank, is about 700,000 only. So, this request must be considered by the Government. It is a humanitarian demand and I would appeal to the Treasury Benches to take this into serious consideration.

SHRI DIGVIJAYA SINGH (Rajgarh): Speaker, Sir, I whole-heartedly support the point raised by hon. Jaswant Singh ji. I would like to remind you, Sir, that it was the ex-Servicemen cell of AICC which initially raised this demand of one rank-one pension but, unfortunately the ex-Prime Minister, hon. V.P. Singh ji, in spite of his promise in the Election manifesto in the 1989 elections, could not fulfil it.

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[Translation]

SHRI RAM VILAS PASWAN: We had announce it on the 13th October.

[English]

SHRI DIGVIJAYA SINGH: In spite of that I would urge upon the Defence Minister and the Finance Minister of this country to please look into this very important matter of ex-Servicemen sympathetically.

SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE (Dumdum): Let us join our voice...

MR. SPEAKER: I have called Mr. Khanduri.

(Interruptions)

SHRI BHUWAN CHANDRA KHANDURI (Garhwal): Sir, I would like to raise two issues. First of all, there are a set of Defence personnel who have now been forced into an act of indiscipline. I request the Government and everybody present in this House, kindly do not force the disciplined lot into a path of indiscipline. Their demand is absolutely genuine and there should be no difficulty or objection in agreeing to that demand. Some bureaucratic delays have been causing this problem. The fact that these people retire at an early age of about 30 should be taken cognisance of. For the last 50 years some of these people are living with a pension of about Rs. 100 per month. So, kindly under-stand their problem and don`t force these people ,the disciplined lot, into a path of indiscipline. I request that this demand of ex-Servicemen should be accepted in principle and no further delay is made in this regard. Secondly, do not politicise this issue.

Let it be above party politics.

[Translation]

SHRI AYUB KHAN (Jhunjhunu): Hon. Speaker, Sir, today a very important issue is before us. The ex-servicemen are sitting on. dharna near India Gate for the last three days in support of their demand for one Rank

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one Pension. Normally, ex-servicemen do not resort to such methods, but such conditions have been created that they were forced to adopt this measure. The hon. Minister of Defence is present in the House.

Through you, I would like to request him that he should consider the demand of one Rank One Pension with an open heart and give some assurance today itself so that they could lift their dharna. I feel that their demand must be accepted.

[English]

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA (Bankura): As you have seen, Sir, this is a unanimous demand of this House. Members from all sides of the House have demanded that one rank-one-pension should be implemented. This decision was taken by the National Front Government but they could not implement it because they did not get the time to implement a decision taken by them. Now, it is high time that this Government should implement the genuine demand of the ex-Servicemen who are now holding dharna for the last three days at Boat Club. The Defence Minister is present in the House. We demand that the Defence Minister should make a Statement on this and assure that this genuine demand of one-rank- one-pension will be implemented as it is a unanimous demand of this House.

MR. SPEAKER: You have said that. One demand is more than

sufficient.

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA: Sir, he should make a Statement on this.

[Translation]

SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES (Muzaffarpur): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would make my submission in just one sentence. I do not think that there is anything left even for consideration. The entire House is unanimous on this issue and the former Government had on 13th October taken a decision at the Cabinet level on this issue. That decision is simply to be implemented. Therefore, I would request the hon. Defence Minister to

make announcement in the House to the effect that the decision is going to be implemented.

[English]

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE (Bolpur): Let him respond here and now.

SHRI LAL K. ADVANI (Gandhi Nagar): Sir, the House is witnessing a kind of rare unanimity because cutting across party lines may be the Treasury Benches may have a different view but at least the party ranks seem to be unanimous. Therefore, I was surprised to know from representatives of theex-servicemen that the Defence Minister conveyed to them that the Government will consider this matter after the Budget. This was surprising. They happened to meet the Defence Minister and the Defence Minister, I am told, told them that this is not the time, we will think about it after the Budget Session is over then you can meet me.

I think, this is in a way, undoing a decision that has been taken in the past by the past Government. And all that is needed is to honour the unanimity in this House, implement that decision and an announcement to this effect must be made before the Demands for Grants for Defence are taken up. Otherwise, we would certainly press the Cut Motions in respect of one rank-one pension.

SHRI BUTA SINGH (Jalore): Mr. Speaker, Sir, Shri Lal Krishna Advani, the Leader of the Opposition spoke that there is a unanimity, then he should not have threatened to further put forward his argument. When there is a unanimity, where is the question of your tabling a separate cut Motion?

Sir, luckily, the Defence Minister is here. Being the son of an ex-soldier of the Army, I have every right to associate myself with the hon. Members from both sides of the House and I propose to the hon. Defence Minister that he need not be bogged down by what the previous Government had done. They have not done anything. Let this Govern-

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ment take a decision to give them this benefit. Let this Government take a decision and the hon.Defence Minister tell the House that he is seriously considering it and at an appropriate time, he will come forward with certain proposal.

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE: Mr. Speaker, Sir, I believe, now it is a national commitment. Shri Buta Singh was saying that the earlier Government did not do anything. At least, they took a decision.

SHRI BUTA SINGH; They did not implement it.

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE: Let his Government do it and show that they have done it.

Sir, the feeling is very strong. The entire House supports it.

There is a national commitment. They are sitting on a Dharna there.

All political parties have gone and expressed their support. I do not know what has been said. Now, Shri Advani has said that they have been promised that it will be considered after the Budget Session. Till then, probably, nothing will be raised here. Then, he will say that there is no provision in the Budget, what can I do? This type of attitude will not be helpful. This is a matter which should be looked into. We ought to carry out our commitment.

I would request the Defence Minister we do not know whether the Defence Budge! will at all come up for discussion in the way in which we are proceeding that before the Guillotine is applied, he must make an announcement. Do not take the advantage that as the Defence Budget could not be discussed, therefore, we could not do anything. We want a commitment by the House,not only commitment but implementation from the Government, here and now. (Interruptions)

SHRI MANORANJAN BHAKTA (Andaman Nicobar): Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is no controversy in this matter. The House is

550 Re.One rank one pension

unanimous and particularly the Congress Party in their Election Manifesto, have mentioned that they will protect the interests of the ex-servicemen. We are committed to that. Today, the entire Opposition and others have said that-they should not threaten the Government in this matter everybody is unanimous in resolving this matter.

That is why I would request the hon. Defence Minister, who is present here, to kindly implement the commitment of the Government.

(interruptions)

[Translation]

SHRI BASUDEB ACHARIA: Will an announcement be made today?

THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (SHRI SHARAD PAWAR): Announcement will not be made today. (Interruptions) I would like to say that the Demands for Grants in respect of the Ministry of Defence are going to be discussed in the House. So far as the question of "One Rank One Pension" is concerned, this is true that the V.P. Singh Government had taken a decision in this regard. But that decision does not fulfil the demand in its entirety. Following the exit of that Government, the Government headed by Shri Chandra Shekhar came to power and they postponed the decision deciding to reconsider it. (Interruptions) The decision which the V.P. Singh Government took has been kept pending. There is a need to take a final decision in this regard. The people of Ex-servicemen Association are certainly sitting on a dharna.

Today when they met me in the morning. I promised them that we would sit together and discuss the issue after the discussion on the Demands for Grants in respect of the Ministry of Defence is completed on 3rd or 4th. (Interruptions)

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE: What will be discussed?

(Interruptions)

551 Re. One rank one pension

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE: What will be discussed? (Interruptions) SHRI SHARAD PAWAR: I am not saying that we will have a discussion on their demands after the Budget session as the leader of the Opposition has said. The meeting will take place during the Budget session itself. They have accepted my suggestion and have assured me to call off the dharna. (Interruptions)

SHRI RAM VILAS PASWAN: Mr. Speaker, Sir, their dharna was for three days only.

[English]

The Minister should not mislead the House. (Interruptions) [Translation]

Do not mislead the House. Is the Government going to take a decision with regard to "One Rank One pension" issue? It is as simple as that. (Interruptions)

SHRI SHARAD PAWAR: So far as Dharna is concerned, their leader, Shri Ram Singh had told after they met me that they would come to see me on 5th and that they would call off their dharna. (Interruptions) SHRI ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE (Lucknow): The hon. Defence Minister may be feeling himself that his reply has not been to the satisfaction of this House. It is good that he is holding talks with the Ex- servicemen. But what are the difficulties before the hon. Defence Minister. After all, this issue came before the previous Government too. The hon. Minister says that a decision was taken but it was not a complete decision. In what sense was it incomplete? And if it was left incomplete by the previous Government, he can complete it.

Secondly, he has said that whichever Government came to power postponed this decision. But this matter has again gained

552 Re. One rank one pension

momentum. We want that hon. Minister should take the House into confidence in this matter and if need be he may invite leaders of all parties to his Chamber for discussion.

If there is any difficulty in taking a decision and that difficulty is real, though we think there is no such difficulty. You can take us in confidence, but do not postpone it till the next budget. If you say that you would consider it after the Budget then possibly your Budget will also not be passed here.

[English]

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE: With the guillotine of the rest of the Demands for Grants, you will also guillotine this Demand. Therefore, 5th is a very bad day. They must here and now announce. 28th is as good as 5th. Therefore, do it on the 28th.

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA: We want an announcement and no discussion.

SHRI SHARAD PAWAR: This is a very important issue from the ex- servicemen's angle.Therefore,I would prefer to give them an opportunity to discuss it in detail. I will discuss with them in detail. (Interruptions)

Their Organisation has also accepted my suggestion.

(Interruptions)

SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA: When a decision was taken, why discuss it further? (Interruptions)

[Translation]

SHRI RAM VILAS PASWAN: Mr. Speaker, Sir, we were not able to listen what the hon. Minister said. If you heard please tell us.

(Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: How can you listen when all the Members speaker at a time?

(Interruptions)

553 Re. One rank one pension

[English]

SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE: They are still on dharna. They are not with drawing.

(Interruptions)

SHRI RAM VILAS PASWAN: He has not agreed to the point that we have made.(Interruptions)

SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE: Let the executive surrender to the Parliament.(Interruptions) There is a clear unanimous view about it.

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE:These are deliberate and diliberate and dilatory tactics adopted by the Government and they are going back on the commitment given to the people and in protest we walk out.

12.21 hrs.

At this stage,Shri Somnath Chatterjee and some other hon. Member left the House.

(Interruptions)

[Translation]

SHRI RAM VILAS PASWAN: Mr.Speaker, Sir, this Government is not truthful. That is why we stage a walk-out.

12.22 hrs.

(Thereafter Shri Ram Vilas Paswan and some other Members walked out of the House)

[English]

SHRI DIGVIJAY SINGH: We strongly condemn their attempt to

politicise such an issue.(Interruptions)

[Translation]

SHRI JASWANT SINGH: Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to submit to the Minister of

554 Re.One rank one pension

Defence that the hon. Member Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee has given a very good suggestion. The Government should announce without any hesitation the difficulties in implementing this. The Government has become adamant which is forcing it not to make the announcement. Mr.

Speaker, Sir, the hon, Member has suggested rightly that the hon.

Defence Minister should convene a meeting of all the party leaders and discuss the matter by 5th of next month or before the Budget, so that there is a concensus in the House over this issue. It would not only benefit the Ex-Servicemen but also the Government, which would continue to remain in power. (Interruptions)

[English]

MR. SPEAKER: Would you like to respond?

[Translation]

SHRI SHARAD PAWAR: Mr. Speaker, Sir, first I would like to speak to the Ex-Servicemen Association in this matter. The earlier decision would benefit many levels. They have a point and I would like to understand that first. If we discuss the matter with the Party leaders thereafter it would have been better After holding talks with the Ex- Servicemen. I would invite the party leaders as well.

SHRI LAL. K. ADVANI (Gandhi Nagar): Mr. Speaker, Sir, Vajpayee ji and Jaswant Singh ji gave very constructive suggestions. The way hon.

Defence Minister has rejected those suggestions it seems we are left with no other alternative, but to press the cut motions which we have moved and which represented the opinion of the entire House...

THE MINISTER OF HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT (SHRI ARJUN SINGH): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not want to come in between, but...

SHRI LAL. K. ADVANI: I am on my legs, please sit down.

555 Re. One rank one pension

Mr. Speaker, Sir, we express our resentment and once again I would like to submit that you have forced us to press the cut motions which ordinarily we would not have done, because we expected that you would make the announcement and there would be no need to press the cut motions. I express my resentment against the statement made by the hon. Defence Minister and stage a walk-out.

12.24 hrs.

Thereafter Shri Lal. K. Advani and some other Members walked out of the Houe.

SHRI ARJUN SINGH: Sir, that is why I wanted to speak first. The hon. Defence Minister has accepted the suggestion made by hon. Atal Behari Vajpayee.

SHRI ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE: When did he accept that?

SHRI ARJUN SINGH: Yes, he has agreed to that. He said that he would speak to you after discussing the matter with the Ex-Servicemen Association first. We cannot stop Shri Advanifrom staging a walk-out if he gets angry even after this assurance. It is strange that even after we have accepted the suggestion made by Vajpayee ji, Shri Advani staged a walk-out.

[English]

SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE: But you announce the decision.

[Translation]

SHRI ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE: Mr. Speaker, Sir, any attempt to create a misunderstanding between me and Advaniji would not be successful. The hon. Defence Minister did not accept my suggestion.

SHRI SHARAD PAWAR: Yes, I did accept

SHRIATALBIHARIVAJPAYEE: This is not a demand of the Ex-Servicemen only but of the entire House. You have said that you would speak to the Ex-Servicemen Association first and then call us. Is that the way to behave with us?

SHRI ARJUN SINGH: You have suggested that if there is any

difficulty we should call you. He has said only that. He has said that after discussing with the Ex-Servicemen Association he would call you.

He could inform you about the factual position only after that.

(Interruptions)

SHRI ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE: We want that this should be discussed before the Budget is presented. (Interruptions)

SHRI BUTA SINGH (Jalore): We fully support his view and would appeal to the ExServicemen not to fall in the trap of politically motivated people and contact the Defence Minister directly and resolve their problems.

[English]

MR. SPEAKER: This point is over.

(Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Nothing will go on record.

(Interruptions)*

MR. SPEAKER: Prof. Savithri Lakshmanan.

PROF. SAVITHRI LAKSHMANAN (Mukundapuram): Mr. Speaker, Sir,it is heart breaking for us, as women, to hear that a nude statue of one women is installed in Palasia crossing in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. I am unable to understand as to what pleasure this gentleman would get in seeing a nude portrait or a nude state of women alone. I fear that this kind of deeds may provoke another gentleman to see a nude figure of a living statue of a women.

Please do not forget the incident which

_____________________________________________________________________ **Not recorded.

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had happened in some other State some ten days back that a women aged 35 was forced to walk nude in the street. So, I urge upon the Government to take immediate steps to remove that statue from Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

Simultaneously I would like to say one thing more. It is reported that Shrimati Indira Gandhi's statue has been removed from Nehru Park in Ashok Nagar, Guna District. I do not know whether it was removed with the knowledge of the State Government or not. The Government of India should intervene in this matter also.

[Translation]

SHRI UDAY PRATAP SINGH (Mainpuri): Mr. Speaker, Sir, through you I would like to raise an important matter of public importance in the House. According to an intelligence report received from Uttar Pradesh the life of Shri Mulayam Singh is in danger. (Interruptions) He has been attacked twice in which one of his bodygaurds was killed. Once a bomb exploded at his official residence in which 17 people including a platoon commander sustained injuries. It is very unfortunate and a matter of great regret that the State Government has withdrawn his security. It is a kind of well planned conspiracy to eliminate political opponents. It is also being said that the security provided by the Central Government would also be withdrawn. It is also being said that bulletproof car and other things provided for security purpose would also be taken back. In view of the growing terrorist activities, it is a very serious matter. Yesterday a Member of Parliament was attacked. In view of the assassination of Shri Rajiv Gandhi and other such killings it has become necessary to provide full security to the people who were holding important posts.

Therefore, I would like to request the Government and particularly the hon. Home Minister that whatever the Government of Uttar Pradesh may say but the way Shri Mulayam Singh fought against the commu-

558 Re. One rank one pension

nal forces, there is a serious threat to his life and therefore full security should be provided to him. It is the responsibility of the Government. With these words I would request the Government that this matter should not be taken lightly but should be taken seriously.

[English]

SHRI DIGVIJAYA SINGH: This is a matter of grave concern. In Uttar Pradesh the BJP Government has started witchhunting against their opponents. They are denying protection to people who have received threats to their lives. I urge upon you, Sir,to direct the Government of Uttar Pradesh to give all the protection to those people who are receiving threats to their lives.

SHRI GUMAN MAL LODHA (Pali): The whole thing has become** ...

(Interruptions)

SHRI CHANDRA SHEKHAR (Ballia): Yesterday, I got the news that NSG, which has been provided to Shri Mulayam Singh by the Government of India on the report of Intelligence Bureau, has been asked to be withdrawn by the U.P.Government. Though the Government of India and the Intelligence Bureau have said that the NSG should be there, the U.P. Government is not cooperating in this matter. I had a talk with the IB Chief and also with the Home Minister. I was surprised to hear from the Home Minister that the U.P. Government may not cooperate.Are you going to accept this position that if a State Government does not want to cooperate for the security of a particular individual... My learned friend has said that he is**. It is his vocabulary. I do not want to use that vocabulary. In is his opinion, Shri Mulayam Singh may be a** . But in my opinion he is a renowned, respected leader of a political party ... (Interruptions) If you want that he shoud be eliminated because he is a *** and if this game is going to be played ... This gentleman from the BJP......(Interruptions)

SHRI GUMAN MAL LODHA: I have not

_____________________________________________________________________ **Expunged as ordered by the Chair.

559 Re. One rank one pension

said about Shri Mulayam Singh; I have said generally ...

(Interruptions)

SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE: He should apologise. He is denying what he has said. This is the kind of mortality he has got...(Interruptions)

SHRI GUMAN MAL LODHA: I have said that there was an allegation that there was a general with hunting. I said witch hunting is a wrong phrase;it is to liquidate the**...(Interruptions)

SHRI ARJUN SINGH: I think, the gravity of what hon. Member, Shri Chandra Shekhar has said, should not be lost be cause his intervention deserves very serious attention of the entire House. We are not for or against an individual. What he has said constitutes something which falls within the responsibility of the respective authority. If one authority has a duty to protect, I am sure, any other authority which can do or not do something, must help that authority to protect. It is not a question of May be I do not like somebody; you do not like somebody. That is not the point. What he has said is that while the Government of India has tried to give some protection to Shri Mulayam Singhji, there are some obstacles coming in the way and the obstacles, according to his information, are coming from the U.P. Government. Now I am not saying that it is correct or incorrect. But whatever has been said, the gravity must be understood and we must go into the bottom of the matter and see what is the position. I would like to say that whether it is a BJP member of SJP member or Congress member, all members of political parties deserve protection to carry out their political duty. Now, if in that process interference comes or a kind of threat comes, it is the duty of all of us to help to make that person function freely. Therefore, regarding whatever Shri Chandra Shekharji has said, I will request the hon. Home Minister to ascertain all the facts and we will try to satisfy him, all political parties and the House also.

SHRI CHANDRA SHEKHAR: Mr.

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Speaker, Sir, generally I do not intervene in this type of controversy. I would have not intervened if my hon. friend would not have raised this question because I wanted to sort it out at the level of the Home Minister and the Leader of the Opposition and Shri Vajpayeeji that this matter should not be made a matter of political controversy. But, it is a fact that the U.P. Government is creating some problem. I want that Shri Vajpayeeji should use his good offices, with the U.P. Government to see that such controversies do not go to the level where even the security of individuals is denied. I shall request you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that when the matter raised is about a particular individual and a learned Member calls him**, it cannot be taken easily. You can cause here any harsh language. I am also capable of using harsh language and retoring to it. But, I do not want to do it because you do not try to see everybody in the mirror like your face. So. I do not want to do this. I only request you Mr. Speaker, Sir, that you should take this matter seriously and I shall specially request Shri Vajpayeeji and Shri Advaniji that they should prevail upon the U.P. Government to see sense in the matter and behave properly.

[Translation]

SHRI ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE (Lucknow): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very sorry that I was absent from the House when this point was being discussed. As far as I have heard,it appears that Mr. Chandrasekhar had spoken. He is one of my best friends.

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE (Bolpur): He is your disciple.

SHRI ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE: And one of my favourite disciples.

Once I had pointed out to him that the disciple has excelled the teacher. The leader of the House has also taken part in the discussion. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have some sort of contact with the Government of Uttar Pradesh...(Interruptions) I have been elected from Lucknow. Security arrangement made by the Uttar Pradesh Government have been

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