Ex-Servicemen to vote BJP en masse

Following their fourth protest rally in Delhi today, a large body of ex-military servicemen has decided to vote and support the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. It would be unreasonable to imagine that every last servicemen in the 24-lakh-strong community can possibly be rallied to vote one way, but that's the intention that's been put forth. The Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM), a body that took birth during the 6th Pay Commission angst, announced today that it would work night and day to persuade all ex-servicemen, including those who owe allegiance to other ex-servicemen organisations, to vote BJP.

In a statement, the IESM said today, "After lengthy confabulations at the rally, particularly on aspects related to manifestos of various political parties, it was decided by majority that ESM across the country will vote and support the BJP. Exceptions will be in constituencies where ex-servicemen are being fielded by ex-servicemen parties supported by IESM."

Their prolonged ire has boiled down to this decision based on two factors. One, the perceived apathy of the UPA government in agreeing to introduce pension parity despite an on-record promise by Congress president Sonia Gandhi. And two, a promise by the BJP in its manifesto -- and bolstered by LK Advani personally visiting the veterans during their last protest -- that the One-Rank-One-Pension (OROP) standard will be introduced should they return to power in the Centre.

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