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'Army shouldn't be involved in politics': Former IAF chief RKS Bhadauria slams Rahul Gandhi

This came a day after the Indian Army rejected claims in social media posts that compensation hasn't been paid to the next of kin of Agniveer Ajay Kumar, who lost his life in the line of duty, and said his family has already been given Rs 98.39 lakh out of the due amount.
Last Updated : 04 July 2024, 17:02 IST

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New Delhi: BJP leader and former Indian Air Force chief RKS Bhadauria on Thursday slammed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for raising questions on the Agniveer scheme and demanded that he apologise for accusing Defence Minister Rajnath Singh of lying about giving compensation to the next of kin of Agniveer Ajay Kumar, who lost his life in the line of duty.

This came a day after the Indian Army rejected claims in social media posts that compensation hasn't been paid to the next of kin of Agniveer Ajay Kumar, who lost his life in the line of duty, and said his family has already been given Rs 98.39 lakh out of the due amount.

The total amount will be Rs 1.65 crore approximately, it said in the "clarification" on Wednesday that came after Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi shared on X a video purportedly of Ajay's father, who stated that they had not received any money.

Gandhi cited Ajay's case to allege in his post that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has "lied" in Parliament about the issue of compensation to families of martyred Agniveers and demanded an apology for it.

"A lot of discussions were held in Parliament on Agniveer. Now, a controversy is being created that the defence minister’s claim that Rs 1 crore has already been given was a lie. They should apologise for it because fact is that about Rs 98 crore has already been given to Ajay Singh’s family and Rs 67 lakh more will be given," Bhadauria said without naming Gandhi.

Hence, it is "absolutely wrong" to claim that Singh’s statement was a lie, he charged.

"It’s an emotional issue…The Army should not be involved (dragged) in such kind of politics," he said.

The former IAF chief asserted that Agniveer is a "well thought out scheme", implemented after "extensive discussions".

"Nobody should have any doubt about the (quality of) training provided to those recruited under the scheme. Soldiers raised under the scheme are not less than any regular soldier from any angle. They will work during the battle with the same capacity that the regular soldiers would do. Now, they will be our regular soldiers," he said.

Bhadauria appealed to the youth to join the Army under the Agniveer scheme without being “misled” by any claim against it.

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Published 04 July 2024, 17:02 IST

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