Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday vowed to fulfill his party’s promise on implementing the One Rank One Pension scheme. Gandhi addressed reporters after interacting with retired defence personnel in New Delhi.

The Congress president criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and accused him of cheating the armed forces of their right. He reiterated his allegations that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government had signed an overpriced deal and favoured Anil Ambani’s company for the Rafale jet deal with France, which has no experience in the sector.

Gandhi said the former defence personnel shared their disappointment in the BJP’s action on the matter. “If Anil Ambani can be given Rs 30,000 crore for doing nothing, why can they not allocate Rs 8,300 crore for the One Rank One Pension scheme?” Gandhi asked.

Armed forces veterans have long asked for the same pension for all, regardless of rank, length of service, and irrespective of the date of retirement. The defence ministry had reinstated the One Rank One Pension scheme in September 2015, and formally notified it for more than 24 lakh ex-servicemen and six lakh war widows on November 8, 2015. But Army veterans had said the government’s version had “seven serious shortcomings”, which would nullify the scheme’s definition.

Modi, during his Independence Day speech, claimed to have fulfilled the demands for the One rank One Pension scheme. On October 21, the prime minister said “arrears worth Rs 11,000 crore have been released for ex-servicemen under the ‘one rank, one pension’ scheme”, PTI reported.

In July, the Centre had told the Supreme Court that it has taken a “policy decision” on implementation of the scheme and sought a dismissal of pleas seeking automatic annual revision of pension.