New Delhi: Congress on Monday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah apologise to the nation for their “vote garnering” exercise on surgical strikes calling it a “worst crime” and questioned the decision to “drastically” reduce the disability pension of the jawans.
Party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala was also scathing in his criticism of the government for “failing to do justice” with both the farmers and the jawans. He demanded withdrawal of the “Tughlaqi” order of “drastically reducing” the disability pension of the jawans and accused the government of not taking “effective” action on the one rank-one pension issue.
“Doing politics over the sacrifice and valour of the armed forces is the worst crime,” Surjewala told reporters. He said the surgical strikes should not be made a “vote garnering exercise” in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and some other states.
With Modi set to participate in a Dussehra event in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh tomorrow, he said, “The entire nation is saying in unison that the action of the armed forces should not be used as a vote garnering exercise…While the past record is not that good, I hope that the Prime Minister would not utilise the occasion to do politics. He should introspect on the…Maryada Purushottam Bhagwan Ram,” Surjewala said.
On the government notifying a new set of rules for disability pensions for the armed forces, Surjewala alleged that “on one side there is a race to gain political mileage out of surgical strikes while on the other doing injustice to the jawans.”
“What sort of justice is this?” he said.
Claiming that the suggestions given by the three service chiefs on the one-rank-one-pension issue were “thrown in the dust bin” by the government, he criticised the one-rank-one-pension being converted into one-rank-different pension.
Surjewala demanded that the government rectify the “lacunae” in the OROP issue. He also criticised the government for “not purchasing foodgrains at the rate of the minimum support price”.
Replying to a question, he hailed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for appreciating Rahul Gandhi’s position on the surgical strikes, but ruled out any tie-up with the Samajwadi Party in the assembly polls in the state.
Rahul’s remarks that the Modi government was “profiteering” from the blood spilt by the soldiers had drawn criticism from BJP which accused him of insulting the armed forces. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and NCP too had disapproved of Rahul’s “dalali” remarks.