New Delhi: Union minister Kiren Rijiju Monday accused the Congress of politicising the inauguration of the National War Memorial in Delhi, saying the Opposition party is devoid of any issue and is trying to create a controversy over the national monument.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the country's National War Memorial adjoining the iconic India Gate complex, nearly 60 years after it was mooted to honour the fallen soldiers after Independence.
Rijiju also slammed Rahul Gandhi for his comments on "shaheed (martyr) status" to personnel of the CRPF and other paramilitary forces killed in action, saying the Congress president does not know the definition of "shaheed".
"The Congress is devoid of any issue and that is why it has raked up the war memorial issue. The Congress is politicising it. Where is the place for politics in a war memorial. But the Congress even does politics over a war memorial. The whole country is watching," he told reporters.
The Union Minister of State for Home said for the first time, the country got a war memorial within a year of having a police memorial.
"It is a matter of pride for all citizens of the country. Both the memorials are a matter of honour for the country. This is dedicated to the people who laid down their lives and for those people who are serving the nation," he said.
On 21 October last year, Modi had inaugurated the National Police Memorial at the National Capital's Chankyapuri area where a 'Wall of Valour' was erected with the names of all 35,000 police personnel who laid down their lives since the country's Independence.
Referring to Rahul Gandhi's demand for "martyr status" to paramilitary jawans who were killed in action, Rijiju said the government considers anyone who sacrifices life in the service of the nation as a "martyr".
"Rahul Gandhi does not know the definition of martyr. We consider anyone who sacrificed the life for the nation as martyr. Rahul does not have any knowledge on rules and regulations," he said.
The Congress chief on Monday trained his guns on Modi, alleging that the prime minister's ego is not allowing him to meet the demand for granting "shaheed" status to personnel of the CRPF and other paramilitary forces killed in the line of duty.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal has asked Modi what he had done to save the lives of soldiers in the past five years.
"We stand by the war memorial. It is for the prime minister to tell us how we save the lives of our security forces," he said.
The former Union minister said memorials are good and one should remember those who gave up their lives for the country. But there should be actions on the ground too, Sibal added.
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Updated Date: Feb 26, 2019 07:56:25 IST