In an apparent attack on the Ashok Gehlot-led government in Rajasthan over the protest by the widows of soldiers killed in the 2019 Pulwama terror attack, former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot Friday said the issue should be heard out keeping ego aside.
Rajasthan police early on Friday morning removed the widows from the protest site outside Congress leader Sachin Pilot’s house here and shifted them to hospitals near their respective residential areas.
The widows have been protesting since February 28 and launched an indefinite hunger strike six days ago, demanding a change in rules so that their relatives and not just children can get government jobs on compassionate grounds.
Their other demands include the construction of roads and the installation of statues of the martyrs in their villages.
Reacting to the police action, Mr Pilot told reporters in Tonk that the issues of the widows should be heard with sensitivity.
“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.
Mr Pilot said the sacrifice of jawans for the country is incomparable and it is the duty of every government and individual to honour them.
If there is any demand other than the package given to the martyrs by the state and the Centre, then those should have been heard with sensitivity to resolve them, the former deputy chief minister said.
Mr Gehlot and Mr 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.
Their conflict has simmered since, with both the senior Congress leaders using sharp words against each other publicly, including when Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra entered the state in December last year.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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