New Delhi: Amid high political drama over the alleged suicide of former soldier Ram Kishan Grewal, Union Minister VK Singh on Thursday said the ex-serviceman's issue was with the bank, and not OROP, as it is being projected.
A day after Singh triggered a controversy with his demand for probe into the "mental state" of the ex-serviceman, who committed alleged suicide over OROP, the MoS said, Grewal was a Congress worker and contested Sarpanch election on Congress ticket.
He termed Grewal's death as unfortunate.
The ex-Army chief raised serious doubts on Grewal's alleged suicide, saying it needs to be probed as from where the ex-Armyman procured the Sulpha tablets.
The BJP leader said all facts needed to be investigated because "I don`t know the political reasons" behind his suicide.
''See, he committed sucide, nobody knows the reason why. OROP has been shown as the reason, but we do not know the status of his mental health. Let the investigation take place. I have already told that OROP should be kept separate from politics,'' Singh said.
He added that most aspects of the OROP have been covered and that if someone complains over a few pennies and the delay of few years, should not be indulged.
The Union Minister also raised questions on the telephonic conversation between Grewal and his son Kulwant Grewal.
The Army veteran had reportedly called Kulwant minutes before taking the extreme step.
''I am sitting near India Gate and I have consumed poison. The government is doing injustice to jawans and I can’t tolerate this. I am a man of principle. I am sacrificing my life for the betterment my family, ex-soldiers and my nation,” 70-year-old Grewal is heard said in the audio.
Defending the government, Singh asserted, “If Grewal had reached out to us (Government), and didn't get help, then it would have been our fault.”
Former soldier Subedar Ram Kishan Grewal, who committed suicide on Tuesday was entitled to OROP but his pension was delayed due to some problem in calculation by his bank, defence ministry sources said.
Menawhile, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala launched a scathing attack on teh Union MInsiter saying, "Singh's continuous character assassination of a soldier is disgusting...BJP encashs Army's bravery but fails to do justice to veterans."
"Panchayat elections are not fought on party tickets in Haryana. BJP should stop lame duck excuses and apologise for insulting armed forces," Surjewala tweeted.
Sources from the ministry said Grewal served the Territorial Army for six years and 11 months after which he was serving in the Defence Security Corps and was entitled to OROP.
The delay in receiving the revised pension was due to problems in calculation by the State Bank of India bank branch in Haryana's Bhiwani district, said sources, adding that the matter was being looked into.
Sources also said that as per the register, he did not seek any appointment with the defence minister.
Former soldier Ram Kishan Grewal was cremated in Bamla village in Haryana's Bhiwani distric today in the presence of hundreds of people including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
A former Rajputana Rifles subedar, the 70-year-old allegedly consumed poison at a Delhi park on Tuesday evening demanding the immediate implementation of the OROP scheme.