New Delhi Taking a swipe at Rajasthan’s Ashok Gehlot-led over protest by three Pulwama attack widows, former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot Friday said the issue should be heard out keeping ego aside.
On Friday, the widows were removed from Pilot’s house in Jaipur by the police and shifted to hospitals near their respective residential areas. The women have been protesting since February 28 and launched an indefinite hunger strike six days ago, PTI reported. They demand that their relatives and not just children get government jobs on compassionate grounds and roads and statues dedicated to the martyrs be constructed in their villages.
Pilot was reacting to the police action and told reporters in Tonk that the women’s demands should be heard with compassion.
“Even today I believe that we can fulfil demands like laying roads, erecting houses, and installing statues. A message should not go out that we are not ready to listen to the demands of the widows of the martyrs. It is another thing whether we agree to their issues or not but one should put aside his ego while listening to their demands,” the Congress leader said, as quoted by news agency PTI.
Pilot said the sacrifice of jawans for the country is incomparable and it is the duty of every government and individual to honour them. He said that if there are demands aside from the packages given to the martyrs by the state and Centre then those should be heard with sensitivity to be able to resolve them.
On Thursday, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot responded to the demands, asking on Twitter whether it would be “appropriate” to give jobs to other relatives of the martyred jawans instead of their children.
“What will happen to the children of the martyr when they grow up? Is it appropriate to trample upon their rights?” he asked.
The remarks comes as Gehlot and Pilot have been at loggerheads publicly for more than two years. In 2020, Pilot led a rebellion in the party for a change of leadership in the state. However, Gehlot managed to survive and Pilot and some of his loyalists were later ousted from the state cabinet.
While the conflict has simmered since, both the senior Congress leaders use sharp words against each other publicly, including when Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra entered the state in December last year.