Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot slammed the BJP on Tuesday, accusing some of its leaders of disrespecting martyrs’ widows and exploiting them for political gain.
This comes just a day after family members of three CRPF personnel killed in the 2019 terror attack in Pulwama demanded a meeting with Congress leader Sachin Pilot, accusing the state government of failing to keep promises made to them.
Without naming BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Kirodi Lal Meena, who has been sitting on a ‘dharna’ with the martyrs’ widows, Gehlot said in a statement: “Some BJP leaders are disrespecting the martyrs’ wives by exploiting them for political gain. Rajasthan has never had a tradition like this. It is unacceptable to me.”
The widows’ demands include the construction of statues of fallen soldiers, the employment of family members on compassionate grounds, and the building of roadways in their villages.
Gehlot stated in his statement that the widow of Hemraj Meena, who was killed in the attack, wants a third statue to be built, even though two others have already been constructed at the Government College in Sangod and a park in his native village of Vinod Kalan. “Such a demand is inappropriate in light of other martyr families,” the chief minister said in a statement.
The wife of Rohitash Lamba is asking for a job for her brother-in-law out of compassion, but if he gets it, the family members or relatives of all martyrs’ widows may start putting immense pressure on them.
“Should we put martyrs’ wives in such a tough position because the rules in place now are based on experiences? How can deny the rights of martyrs’ children while employing other relatives be justified? What happens to the children of martyrs when they grow up? “He inquired.
Gehlot stated that during his first term as chief minister in 1999, the Rajasthan government introduced the Kargil package for dependents of martyrs. He also stated that the Rajasthan government implemented a provision that if a soldier’s wife is pregnant at the point of his martyrdom and does not want a job, it will be kept reserved for the child to ensure their future.
According to Gehlot, assistance has been provided to the dependents of the Pulwama martyrs under the terms of this package.
On Tuesday, he said he had discussed the issue with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge.
Pratap Singh Khachariyawas, a minister in the Gehlot government, met with the widows of the martyrs protesting outside Pilot’s home earlier in the day and stated that the government must honor them.
Sachin Pilot had written to Gehlot on Monday, demanding an investigation into the alleged police misbehavior with the widows. He also asked him to consider their demands sympathetically.