Congress on Friday said BJP’s “double standard” has been “exposed completely” as on one hand it talks of being a nationalist party by undertaking a surgical strike across LoC and on the other hand it has slashed the pension of soldiers who are disabled. As per the 6th Pay Commission recommendations, an army Major who has completed 10 years of service would have got Rs 98,300 monthly pension if he suffered 100 per cent disability while the same army Major would now get Rs 27,000 (fixed slab) as per the 7th Pay Commission as notified by the Centre, Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) president Ashok Choudhary told reporters.
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Pointing out that it would have an adverse and negative impact on the morale of the soldiers, Choudhary, also the education minister in Nitish Kumar government, urged the Centre to review it and the Defence Minister to clarify the position. Alleging that a sense of “insecurity has gripped Dalits and minorities ever since BJP came to power at the Centre”, the BPCC president made a fervent appeal to Dalits and muslims to come together “as both have quite common similarities vis-a-vis social indicators be it education, employment opportunities, insecurity”.
Stating that Dalits are facing several difficulties, Choudhary claimed that only 4.4 per cent and 2.4 per cent of the Dalit population are graduates and post-graduates respectively, 42.3 per cent of them are still below poverty line and majority of them are landless labourers.
Choudhary said Congress would organise a ‘Mahasammelan’ for scheduled castes and minorities in the state capital on October 17 to discuss their demands and aspirations. The BPCC president said that the conference would be inaugurated by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad while Bihar in-charge and general secretary C P Joshi will be the chief guest.
The conference would be attended by former Speaker Meira Kumar, Shakeel Ahmad, senior party leaders of the state and MLAs and MLCs, he said.