Government employees from across the country held a protest in Delhi's Ramlila Maidan demanding the restoration of the Old Pension Scheme.
Government employees from across the country gathered in Delhi's Ramlila Maidan on Sunday to protest against the central government, demanding the restoration of the Old Pension Scheme. National Movement For Old Pension Scheme (NMOPS) leader Vijay Kumar Bandhu said the protest took place as "our team believed that if the central government ratifies this (OPS), then the onus won’t be on the state government."
In a statement, the NMOPS said if the central government does not restore the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), they will organise a campaign titled "Vote for OPS" to demand its restoration ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha election. Several Opposition leaders including Congress leader and former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, Bahujan Samaj Party MP Shyam Singh Yadav also joined the protest.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal backed the protesters and said the city government had already written to the central government to implement the Old Pension Scheme for government employees in the national capital.
The Congress party also endorsed the protesters and said, "Old pension is the right of the employees." The party demanded the central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to restore the Old Pension Scheme to "honor the workers who serve the country".
Across India, five states reverted to the Old Pension Scheme -- Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh -- while West Bengal never opted for the New Pension Scheme.