Slamming the BJP for “using the martyrs’ families for its political agenda”, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has said that “it is the responsibility of all of us to give the highest respect to martyrs and their families. Every citizen of Rajasthan does his duty to respect the martyrs, but some BJP leaders are disrespecting them by using the name of the widows of our valiant martyrs to earn political mileage. This has never been the tradition of Rajasthan. I condemn it.”
CM Gehlot has made it clear to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh that the demands are not appropriate. The government is already taking care of the martyrs and respecting them.
The central government is learnt to be satisfied with the explanation from the state government on this issue. Therefore, the Centre is not paying much attention to the protests.
Those aware of rules regarding the same say that no government can meet such demands. Some widows of Pulwama martyrs are staging protests raising certain demands in Jaipur. Rajya Sabha MP Kirodi Lal Meena is leading the group of protestors for the last ten days. He has alleged that the martyrs are not being given justice. Meena is known for his different kind of politics. He has been raising the various issues related to his constituency, no matter which party is in government. He does so to maintain his clout in the Meena dominated regions. However, Kirodi Lal Meena had to face defeat in Dausa and Sawai Madhopur. Now, Meena is leading the demonstration of martyrs’ widows. But his party is not supporting it. The saffron party is divided over Meena’s participation in the protests. Gehlot has explained that the widow of Hemraj Meena, who was martyred in the attack, wants a third statue to be installed at one place despite two others already put up at the Government College, Sangod and a part in Vinod Kalan, which is his native village. So, this demand is not appropriate keeping in view the families of the other martyrs, he said. Similarly, the wife of Rohitash Lamba is seeking a job for her brother-in-law on compassionate grounds but if the job is given to him then the family members or relatives of all widows of martyrs might start putting undue pressure on them. In fact, the jobs in such cases are given to the kids of the martyrs when they are grown up. So, there is no provision or rule to give jobs to other relatives of the martyrs at the cost of the rights of their own children.
Gehlot further said that during his first tenure as chief minister in 1999, the Rajasthan government released the Kargil package for dependents of martyrs and it has been made more effective by increasing it from time to time. The Kargil package included financial help of Rs 25 lakh and a piece of land measuring 25 bigha or a Housing Board house to each of the martyrs’ wives. If the widow does not want the house, then she was given Rs 25 lakh more. The monthly income scheme included, fixed deposit of Rs 5 lakh to parents of martyrs, naming of a public place after the martyr, job to either wife of the martyr or his son or daughter.
The Rajasthan government has made a provision that if the wife of a soldier is pregnant at the time of his martyrdom and does not want a job, it will be kept reserved for the child so that their future can be secured. Help has been given to the Pulwama martyrs’ dependents as per the rules of this package, Gehlot said. Possibly, no other state has such a package for the martyrs.
Rajasthan is the land of heroes and thousands of soldiers from the state have sacrificed their lives for the motherland. The people and the government here respect the martyrs the most, said Gehlot. The CM said that he himself visited the houses of Rajasthan’s 56 martyrs of Kargil war and paid homage to them. CM Gehlot said that he shared his thoughts on the issue with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Congress President Mallikarjuna Kharge.