Amid the ongoing protest by the widows of the jawans killed in the 2019 Pulwama attack, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday said that it is not justified to give job to "any other relative" by snatching the "rights of the children of the martyr" while alleging that the BJP is using them for its "narrow political interest".
Gehlot asked if it is appropriate to give job to "any other relative" of the killed soldier by "trampling upon the rights of the children of the martyr".
Taking to Twitter, the Chief Minister shared a note in which he hit out at the BJP while also laying down the work done by his government for the widows of the soldiers.
"...some BJP leaders of the State are using the widows of the martyrs for their narrow political interest and thus dishonouring them...I condemn it. The wife of martyr Sh. Hemraj Meena wants his third statue installed at a circle (Chauraha) whereas two of his statues have already been installed, One in the campus of Govt. College Sangod and another in a park in his native village Vinod Kalan," he wrote.
He termed the demand inappropriate in view of the families of other soliders who were killed in line of duty.
"Wife of martyr Sh. Rohitash Lamba is demanding compassionate appointment for her husband's brother (Devar). If job is given to the brother of martyr Sh. Lamba, then in future the family members and relatives of all the widows may exert inappropriate social and family pressure to give job to other relatives while depriving the children of the martyr of their right to job. Should we create such a difficult situation before the widows of the martyrs?" he asked.
Stating that the rule in practice have been formulated on the basis of past experiences, and asked if it is "appropriate to trample upon" the rights of the children of killed soldiers.
"The present rules have been formulated on the basis of past experience. How can we justify giving job to any other relative by trampling upon the rights of the children of the martyr? What will happen to the children of the martyr when they grow up? Is it appropriate to trample upon their rights?" the Chief Minister asked.
Recalling his first tenure as the Chief Minister from 1998 to 2003, he said that his government had issued Kargil package for the families of the soldiers who were killed in the war agaist Pakistan.
"During my first tenure as the Chief Minister during 1999, the State Government had issued Kargil package for the dependents of the martyrs. It was increased from time to time and made effective. Under the Kargil package, the wife of the martyr is given Rs 25 Lakhs and 20 Bigha land or a house of the Housing Board (Rs 25 Lakhs are additionally given if land or house is not taken), a fixed deposit of Rs 5 Lakhs is given to the parents of the martyr as part of the Monthly Income Scheme, a public place is named after the name of the martyr and job is given to martyr's wife or his son/daughter," he said.
"The Government of Rajasthan made the provision that if the wife of the martyr is pregnant during his martyrdom and if she doesn't want job, then the job is reserved for the baby in the womb to protect the future of the baby," Gehlot added.
He stressed that the families of the Pulwama soldiers have already been helped according to the rules of the package.
"The dependents of the martyrs of Pulwama have already been helped according to the rules of this package. There is perhaps no such package in any other State for the families of the martyrs," he said.
"I am expressing my feelings and sentiments before you which I have shared with the Defence Minister Sh. Rajnath Singh ji and Congress President Sh. Mallikarjun Kharge ji," the Chief Minister added.
The protests by the widows entered its 11th day today.
Earlier on Wednesday, the protestors staged a 'Dharna' outside Congress leader and former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot's house.
Rajasthan minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas, state minister Shakuntala Rawat and BJP MP Kirodi Lal Meena on Tuesday met with protesting widows of soldiers who lost their lives in the 2019 Pulwama terror attack.
The widows staging the dharna alleged that the government had not fulfilled its promises and also demanded they need assurance in written.
They also demanded action be taken against policemen who allegedly misbehaved with them. (ANI)