The Punjab Congress on Thursday went into a war mode over ex-serviceman’s suicide on the OROP issue, with president Captain Amarinder Singh announcing state-wide protests by party workers to be held in all districts on Friday against the shabby and inhumane treatment meted out to deceased Subedar Ram Kishen’s family.
Lashing out at the Modi government in general, and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in particular, Captain said they were both responsible for Subedar Ram Kishen’s suicide.
"Party workers have been directed to hold dharnas in all the districts of Punjab while I will personally lead a delegation of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) leaders to submit a memorandum of protest to the state Governor on the issue of the police misbehavior with the ex-serviceman’s family,” said Amarinder.
Announcing this at a press conference here, the PPCC president unequivocally condemned the shocking high-handedness of the Delhi Police against AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi as well as the family of Subedar (Retd) Ram Kishen, who committed suicide in New Delhi on Thursday. Ram Kishen, in his suicide note, had blamed the prolonged delay over the OROP settlement for his decision to take the extreme step.
Amarinder pointed out that despite Narendra Modi having repeatedly promised one rank one pension for ex-servicemen during his election campaign, he backed out from his promise after becoming the Prime Minster.
Capt. Amarinder said the suicide by Subedar Ram Kishen incident reflected complete apathy of the NDA government to the plight of soldiers. "It has led to total demoralisation of the forces, which are feeling gravely let down after the incident," said the PPCC president.
"On the one hand you are trying to glorify the achievements of our defence forces and even trying to make political capital out of these, and on the other you are demoralising them by not giving them OROP and even downgrading their status in comparison to their civilian counterparts,” he told Modi, warning him that this can have dangerous and disastrous repercussions for the country. He said no country could afford a demoralised defence force.
Capt. said the suicide by Subedar Ram Kishen incident reflected complete apathy of the NDA government to the plight of soldiers. "It has led to total demoralisation of the forces, which are feeling gravely let down after the incident," said the PPCC president.
He reiterated his demand for the ouster of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for his "insensitivity" to the problems of ex-servicemen. Alleging that the defence minister had no idea how the armed forces function, Captain Amarinder demanded his immediate replacement.
"As a soldier myself I cannot allow the dignity of army personnel to be compromised in any manner, " said Captain Amarinder, adding that the Modi government seemed hell bent on demoralizing the country’s defence personnel. He also lashed out at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who had reportedly dismissed the plea of ex-servicemen on the contentious OROP matter, which the BJP had promised to resolve in its election manifesto.