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Now ex-servicemen in election fray

November 12, 2008 17:28 IST

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Disappointed over politicians, ex-servicemen have jumped into the electoral fray to 'overhaul the system' by fielding a candidate in the November 29 Delhi [Images] assembly elections.

Rashtriya Raksha Dal, representing the retired armed forces personnel, has fielded retired Major I S Jakhar in the Delhi Cantonment assembly segment where a sizable population of soldiers and their families stay.

"We too want to have a major say in welfare policies. Too much injustice has been done to the army on all fronts," RRD general secretary and retired Colonel Krishna Moorthy said.

Confident of winning the seat, the party has already calculated the vote-banks that will go in favour of its candidate.

"There are total 75,223 voters in Delhi Cantt. Of these not more that 45,000 will cast their vote given past trends. And since army strength is more than 50,000 we expect to garner at least 12,000 votes of army personnel and their families," Moorthy added.

Retired Major General Satbir Singh, a RRD supporter echoed similar sentiments: "the Delhi Cantonment seat has been chosen as a former soldier would consolidate the votes of serving personnel and their families."

The party plans to raise issues like demand for immediate constitution of an ex-servicemen commission and rectification of "anomalies" in the Sixth Pay Commission with respect to the armed forces. "We had not bargained for what we are suffering from today," Moorthy added.

"We would also ensure that postal ballots cast by the soldiers reach the election office," he said.

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