Rajnath misled House on Agniveers: Cong

New Delhi, July 4 (UNI) The Congress on Thursday accused Defence Minister Rajnath Singh of telling half-truths in Lok Sabha on the plight of Agniveers and demanded a white paper on the Agnipath Scheme.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, Chairman of the Ex-Servicemen Department, Col (Retd) Rohit Chaudhary and Wing Commander (Retd) Anuma Acharya demanded that the government should bring a white paper to present details of the scheme.

The party reiterated its stand to scrap the Agnipath scheme since it was against the security interests of the country.

The Congress alleged the scheme was creating differences and discrimination between soldiers within the defence services.

Referring to Rajnath Singh’s intervention in Parliament claiming that families of those Agniveers who die in the line of duty are paid Rs one crore, Col Chaudhary said the Minister did not give the complete picture.

He said if an Agniveer gets killed in the line of duty he gets Rs 48 lakhs from the insurance, Rs 44 lakhs as ex-gratia and Rs eight lakh for battle casualty.

Col Rohit disclosed that a regular soldier gets about Rs 2.43 crores equalized up to 15 years of service in the rank of Sepoy and about Rs 3.25 crores for Havaldars whose service tenure is up to 24 years.

He said Agniveers are not granted martyrdom status and benefits associated with it.

Speaking on the occasion, Wing Commander (Retd) Anuma Acharya condemned the misuse of the social media handles of the defence services for spreading disinformation by the government.

Referring to Defence Minister’s claim that the Agnipath scheme was introduced after consultations with about 158 organizations, she said, he must come out with details.

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