Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday slammed the BJP over the new disability pension rules for armed forces personnel, alleging that its "fake nationalism" is yet again visible through the move.
The Narendra Modi government is a "habitual offender" in working against the welfare of jawans, ex-service personnel and veterans, he alleged in a post on X, PTI report mentioned.
According to media reports, the All India Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association has strongly protested against the new policy on disability and death benefits of defence personnel and their widows. The policy was made public on Wednesday by the Ministry of Defence.
In his post on X, Kharge said, "BJP's fake nationalism is yet again visible in the new disability pension rules for our brave Armed Forces!"
Around 40 per cent of Army officers retire with disability pension and the change in the present policy will flout multiple past judgments, rules and acceptable global norms, he said.
"The All India Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association has strongly protested this new policy by the Modi government, which places soldiers at a disadvantage when compared to civilian employees," the Congress chief claimed.
In June 2019, the Modi government had come out with a "similar betrayal" when it announced that it would be taxing disability pensions, Kharge said.
"(The) Modi government is a habitual offender in working against the welfare of our jawans, ex-servicemen and veterans," he said.
Kharge claimed that the Agnipath Scheme was an explicit admission that the Modi government does not have the funds for soldiers.
He also alleged that there were large-scale anomalies in OROP-2 (One Rank One Pension).
Attacking the government, Kharge also cited the withdrawal of the "much deserved" 'Non-Functional Utility' to ensure automatic time-bound pay promotion and "snatching away of medical benefits/pensions to jawans who have valiantly served the nation under short service commission".
He also said "privatisation of (the) Ordnance Factory Board and rationing in CSD outlets" are against the welfare of armed forces personnel.
"In this context, the Congress party reiterates its demand to set up an Ex-servicemen Commission at the earliest to address the grievances of military veterans," Kharge said.