Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar accused the Congress on Thursday of “playing politics” over the alleged suicide by an ex-serviceman, with the party hitting back, terming as “black day” the death of army veteran in the history of the state which is celebrating its golden jubilee.
INLD, the principal opposition in the state, also attacked the Centre for “not properly” implementing OROP which impelled the ex-serviceman to end his life.
The alleged suicide by ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal took political overtones at a time when Haryana was busy in celebrating its golden jubilee. Haryana, carved out of the then joint Punjab on November 1, 1966, turned 50.
“It is very unfortunate that political parties are playing politics over the body of an ex-serviceman. It should not happen. Whether Congress or AAP is playing politics, it is condemnable,” Khattar said while talking to media here today.
Khattar slammed Congress for not implementing OROP for a long time, saying when BJP government came to power at the Centre, it implemented it.
“Rs 5,500 crore has been disbursed under OROP by the Centre while Congress was just sitting on this scheme and had made a provision of just Rs 500 crore, which was a cruel joke with ex-army personnel,” he said.
Asked, will the Haryana government declare as martyr the army veteran who allegedly committed suicide, Khattar said only those who lay down their lives at the border are declared martyrs.
“He (Grewal) has committed suicide which even he accepted during conversation with his son. He has committed suicide which is not right. A solider does not commit suicide. Why he ended his life, we should look into this,” said Khattar.
He further said the state government will provide suitable financial aid to the ex-serviceman’s family.
Asked if he will go to Bhiwani to express his grief with Grewal’s family, Khattar said state Transport minister, local MP and other leaders had gone there to meet the family of ex-serviceman. “We do not want to play any politics on the issue,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Congress raised the issue of alleged suicide of by Grewal at a function to mark Haryana’s golden jubilee, before boycotting it.
“It is a Kala Diwas (Black Day) in Haryana because our ex-serviceman has committed suicide. Our leaders including Rahul Gandhi, Bhupinder Singh Hooda went to Bhiwani to attend his cremation. It is not a golden jubilee. It is a black day,” Congress leader and MLA Geeta Bhukkal said.
Asked about the ruling party accusing Congress of playing politics over the death of Grewal, Bhukkal said it was moral duty of an opposition party to raise the issue in a democracy in order to put pressure on the government.
“Today our farmers are committing suicide, our Jawans are committing suicide. No section of the society is happy with the present regime in the state,” she claimed adding that Haryana had moved backward under the Khattar-led government, citing the incidents like Jat agitation.
She also demanded that Khattar should go to Bhiwani and meet the family of army veteran.
Leader of Opposition in Haryana Assembly and senior INLD leader Abhay Chautala accused the BJP -led government of not implementing OROP properly, saying the party felt great pain with the alleged suicide of Ram Kishan Grewal.
“We feel pain over the suicide of ex-serviceman as his demand for OROP was not fulfilled. BJP has played only politics over OROP,” Chautala said.
He also hit out at Congress for “scoring” brownie points over the suicide by the ex-serviceman
“For over 40 years, Congress played politics with soldiers. If Rahul feels real pain over the death of Grewal, then he should also have visited the family of Jawan in Kurukshetra who was killed at the border. They are just playing politics,” he said.