Demanding Old Pension Scheme back, lakhs of people from 20 states protest

The Pension Shankhnad Rally at Delhi's Ramlila Maidan was supported by the. Indian National Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, Left parties and farmers' organisations

Protesting workers of CPIML in Delhi (photo: @cpimlliberation/X)
Protesting workers of CPIML in Delhi (photo: @cpimlliberation/X)

NH Political Bureau

The demand for the implementation of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) again at country level got heard louder on Sunday, 1 October, when lakhs of employees from over 20 states gathered at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan and demanded the scrapping of the New Pension Scheme (NPS) entirely.

Warning the Modi government that they would not get vote in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2024 if this demand was ignored, employees carryied the banner of the National Mission for Old Pension Scheme (NMOPS) in the Pension Shankhnad Rally in New Delhi's RamLila Maidan.

Speakers appealed to protesters to vote for the OPS by supporting parties that supported it as a manifesto item in the next Lok Sabha election. The protesters in turn vowed to launch a door-to-door campaign against the NPS, a movement supported by the Indian National Congress, various Left parties, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha and the Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Mahasabha.

The Old Pension Scheme has already been brought back in Congress-ruled states.

Addressing the protesters, former Haryana Congress chief Bhupinder Hooda said that OPS will certainly be implemented if Congress is voted to power.

Head of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) Arvinder Singh Lovely also attended the rally. He extended his support for the implementation of the OPS.

CPIML general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya said that the Modi government wants to hand over people’s resources and money to corporate cronies such as the Ambanis and Adanis.

BKU leader Rakesh Tikait also addressed the protesters at the Ramlila Maidan. "The farmer community of the country will stand shoulder to shoulder with you in this fight and will work to fight it strongly," he posted on X.

Accusing the Modi government of looting the people, farmers' leader Purushottam Sharma said the broad unity of employees, labourers and farmers is the greatest need of India. Saying that the country can be taken on a new path with strength and unity, Sharma added, “Assembly elections in five states will be held soon. We are going to take revenge from this anti-worker, -farmer, -labour government.”

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