Pathankot: The second edition of ‘Coffee with Captain’, PPCC chief Amarinder Singh’s strategic outreach campaign was kickstarted from Pathankot on Wednesday, where more than 2,000 ex-servicemen discussed their issues and ideas for Punjab with him. Ex-servicemen from Pathankot, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran and Jalandhar attended the interactive session that was organised by members of the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC). An ex-army personnel himself, Capt met his fauji brethrens with gusto, reliving old times.
At a time when ex-servicemen had been left dissatisfied by Centre’s lukewarm response on their demand for one rank, one pension scheme (OROP) and unfortunate Pathankot attacks still fresh in memory, Amarinder’s well-intended and no-holds barred discussion ensured that each veteran spoke his heart out on issues that were crucial to this community. Not only did the war veterans share their glorious experiences with everyone, Amarinder too shared war stories from the 1965 war that he fought.
When ex-serviceman Jaswant Singh from Amritsar raised concerns over the poor quality of life and financial conditions of ex-servicemen, Amarinder said he would provide reservations in jobs for them in Punjab Government departments. He also said that he would ensure strict implementation of the policy providing government jobs to the kin of a martyred Armymen. Replying to a question raised by Brig Inder Mohan Singh on the establishment of an ex-servicemen commission for dealing with all issues related to them on the lines of SC and Minorities Commission, Amarinder gave an assurance that he would form such a cell which will be directly under the ambit of the Chief Minister’s Office. Answering a question on OROP, he said, “I have, I am and will be with you on OROP.
We had started it, but Modiji has stopped it. We are with you on this and will fight it till the end” He urged his fellow ex-serviceen to put up a united face and support a candidate who would not only understand and resolve their issues, but also bring back the glorious days of Punjab. Members from 12 ex-servicemen associations like the Indian Ex-Services League, All-India Defence Brotherhood, etc. were part of the event. A social media help desk was also set-up at the event where young members of team I-PAC helped ex-servicemen connect with Amarinder through social media.
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