New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) A day after sparring with Manmohan Singh in the Lok Sabha, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani Thursday told a meeting of party MPs that the prime minister breached parliamentary propriety by making a misleading statement about enhanced pension for army personnel.
Briefing reporters about the meeting of BJP Parliamentary Party here, M. Venkaiah Naidu said Advani referred to a letter from Indian Ex-servicemen Movement (IESM) that contradicted the prime minister’s remarks that the order to enhance pension to junior command officers (JCOs) and soldiers, announced by the government in July 2009, had been implemented.
The prime minister’s remarks had come in response to Advani’s charge that the government had not fully implemented one-rank-one-pension scheme.
Advani is chairman of the BJP Parliamentary Party.
Naidu distributed copies of the letter written by Maj. Gen. (retd) Satbir Singh, vice chairman of IESM, that no soldier or JCO has received orders for enhancement of pensions.
‘We watched with dismay on the Lok Sabha TV channel, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh making a statement on the floor of the house that the enhancement of pensions to JCOs and jawans announced by the government in July 6, 2009, has been implemented. Even the Service HQs (headquarters), where an inquiry was made, has confirmed that the orders for enhancement of pensions of jawans and JCOs had not been received,’ the letter said.
Naidu said the prime minister should have studied the matter properly and then spoken on it.
‘This impropriety should be taken seriously,’ he said.
Naidu said the prime minister was ‘bewildered’ over Advani’s demand that the government should speak about its back channel discussions with Pakistan on Kashmir in the light of US reports that an India-Pakistan deal on Kashmir was critical to American interests in Afghanistan.
‘The more the PM is bewildered when suggestion is made of US (pressure), the more the charge appears to be true,’ Naidu said.
He said the BJP will be vigilant against any compromise on Kashmir.
Naidu said Advani mentioned in his address that the top five states in terms of GDP performance were non-Congress ruled states.
Asked about the possibility of floor coordination with other opposition parties, Naidu said no party was untouchable for the BJP.
He said sincerity of the United Progressive Alliance partners which had opposed the government’s budget proposals ‘will be tested on the floor of the house when occasion arises’.