NEW DELHI: The Congress on Friday alleged that the Modi government was denting the morale of army officers by 'snatching away' their pension. Addressing a press conference on Friday, Congress General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "The Modi government has become the first regime in history to steal the pension and alternate career choice after the active service of those officers who protect our motherland. A letter circulated by the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) in the office of the CDS has sought suggestions for the same."

"This Diwali, PM Modi exhorted the nation to light a 'Diya' for our soldiers, but has ensured darkness in their lives by attempting to reduce their pension by half," he added.

Surjewala said, "According to the Modi government's new proposal, only those officers who have spent more than 35 years in the Armed Forces service shall be entitled to a 'Full Pension'. But reality is, 90 per cent of the army officers retire before 35 years of service. In such a situation, the Modi government is hatching a conspiracy to deny 90 per cent of the army officers their full pension."

The Congress said at the time of recruitment in the military, every officer in the Indian Military Academy has to compulsorily sign a 20-year mandatory service bond. An officer after 20 years of service, presently gets 50 per cent of the last drawn salary as pension, but the Modi government's new proposal is snatching away 50 per cent of that.

The Congress also cited the internal memo for 'the reconsideration of the pension in the Armed Forces'.