Rajnath Singh 'lied', says Rahul Gandhi sharing purported video of martyred Agniveer's father

Rahul Gandhi's fresh attack came after Rajnath Singh rebutted the Leader of Opposition's claims in the Lok Sabha on the Agnipath military recruitment scheme.
Last Updated : 03 July 2024, 17:15 IST

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New Delhi: Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday alleged that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh "lied" in Parliament about the issue of compensation to families of "martyr" Agniveers and demanded an apology for it.

The Congress leader also shared a video on X purportedly of the father of a deceased Agniveer who stated that Rajnath Singh had claimed that Rs 1 crore compensation had been given to the next of kin of martyred Agniveers but no such assistance was received by his family.

In his video message, Gandhi said that he had stated in his speech in Parliament that the protection of truth is the basis of every religion.

"In reply, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, before Lord Shiva's photo, lied to the country, its armed forces and Agniveers about compensation," Gandhi said in the video.

He then referred to the purported statement by the father of an Agniveer martyr, Ajay Singh.

Ajay Singh's father said that Rajnath Singh made the statement that families of martyrs have been given Rs 1 crore compensation but no such assistance had been received by his family.

"Rahul Gandhi is raising our voice in Parliament that families of martyrs must get all necessary help. Agniveer recruitment must stop and regular recruitment should be reinstated," he said.

Gandhi said the defence minister had "lied" to the family of martyr Ajay Singh, the armed forces and the youth of the country, and must apologise to them.

Gandhi's fresh attack came after Rajnath Singh rebutted the Leader of Opposition's claims in the Lok Sabha on the Agnipath military recruitment scheme, saying it was rolled out after taking suggestions from 158 organisations.

Gandhi had on Monday criticised the Agnipath scheme for short-term military recruitment and said that the government does not even give them the status of a "shaheed" (martyr) and that no compensation is extended to their families if they are killed in action.

Singh, who intervened when Gandhi was speaking on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address, said that an Agniveer who lays down his life in the line of duty gets a compensation of Rs 1 crore.

The Union minister had asked Gandhi not to "mislead" Parliament and also requested Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to expunge the former Congress president's claims on the Agnipath scheme.

Intervening, the Defence Minister had said, "I would like to humbly request the Leader of Opposition not to try to mislead Parliament. Regarding the Agnipath scheme, direct communication was established with many people, 158 organisations, their suggestions were taken, then this Agnipath scheme was brought. This scheme has been brought after a lot of thought."

"And, I would also like to make it clear that these kinds of schemes are operational in many countries. It is there in the US, in the UK. People there do not have any objection. Without understanding the Agnipath scheme, without getting proper information about it... to mislead the House like this, cannot be deemed appropriate," the minister added.

After Singh's rebuttal, Gandhi had said, "Rajnath Singh has an opinion and I have an opinion but Agniveers know the truth. Agniveers know what they have to face."

Published 03 July 2024, 17:15 IST

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