FACT CHECK

Rahul Gandhi’s Hypocrisy on ‘Martyr’ Status: UPA Itself Had Rejected the Proposal

martyr status

Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s lie on martyr status was nailed in our earlier piece Rahul Gandhi Not Only Lied About CRPF Martyrs But Linked Them to Rafale. Nevertheless, on March 7, while addressing a rally in Himachal Pradesh, he has assured that when his government comes to power at the Centre, the martyr status will be given to CRPF and BSF personnel who die in the line of duty. Apart from the factual inaccuracy on the very status of martyrs, the claim also exposes the blatant hypocrisy of Congress and Rahul Gandhi. When his party was at the helm, it had categorically said that there was no proposal to grant martyr status to CAPF (Central Armed Police Force) personnel who are killed in action.

Here is a Lok Sabha reply on February 18, 2014 which exposes the stand of UPA-2 on this issue.

Martyr Status - Issue Raised in 2011

Rahul Gandhi who wants Congress to return to power to be able to grant ‘shaheed’ or ‘martyr’ status, should know that such demand was raised first in 2011 while UPA was in power. It is clear by the official documents and media reports that consensus had not been possible at that point of time.

Rahul’s Misleading Campaign

In any case, Rahul Gandhi’s utterings on ‘martyr’ status are wrong on many counts as has been already explained in the previous article. Here are the relevant facts to recall from that article.

  • There is no such official ‘martyr’ status to the persons belonging to the Indian Army as well.
  • So, extending martyr status to CRPF and BSF simply doesn’t arise.

Nevertheless, the soldier who is martyred in the line of duty gets due honors. As the above document has noted, a compensation system has been in place. Each slain CRPF personnel will get the following:

  • Liberalised Pensionary Award – Amount equal to emoluments (salary) last drawn given to next of kin for life time or till the marriage of the widow.
  • Ex Gratia (Central Govt) – Rs. 35 Lakh
  • CRPF Risk Fund – Rs. 20 Lakh
  • Central Welfare Fund – Rs. 1.5 Lakh
  • There are many other monetary compensations that the next of kin of CRPF personnel get in case of their death on duty.

In any case, there is a guarantee of at least Rs. 1 Crore being given to the martyrs from CRPF. Here is the Booklet on Welfare Schemes of CRPF (Page No.22).

So, Rahul Gandhi’s utterings on martyr status has no substance. The real issues that need to be discussed are: Why did the UPA government fail to provide the forces with basic necessities such as bulletproof jackets? Why did it have to take Modi government to bring big projects such as manufacturing of AK 203 assault rifles to Amethi while Congress’ first family has been representing the constituency for decades? Then why couldn’t UPA’s ten years rule deliver on a decades-long demand for National War Memorial?