The suicide of a retired army subedar over the One Rank One Pension has triggered a major political storm in the national capital. Parties like the Congress and AAP have been quick to capture the opportunity to go one up against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government using the suicide ahead of crucial elections in states like Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. As appalling as the developments seem, nothing seems to be deterring these parties from politicising the suicide for gaining political brownie points.
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The core argument, however, remains that the issue has been around for decades. Congress government itself didn’t act on it. The BJP hasn’t had a good record on addressing the issue as well. AAP sees it as an opportunity to gain brownie points over the BJP which gained a lot of political mileage after the surgical strikes on terror launch pads along Line of Control on September 29.
A flurry of politicians reached the deceased subedar Ram Kishan Grewal’s funeral on Thursday. Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders thronged the funeral grounds at Bhiwani, Grewal’s native village in Haryana visibly hogging the limelight and in a way taking the focus away from the his suicide on to themselves. AAP leaders are also said to be on the way and another condolence meet has been planned by the Delhi CM at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.
The BJP has been campaigning indirectly using the surgical strikes to their benefits with surgical strikes and images of soldiers featuring on campaign posters and speeches in several locations across the poll bound states. The parties were cornered for over the last month and the BJP seemed to have gained ground by having tapped into the collective patriotic spirit and anger against terrorists and Pakistan in the country. OROP has been the Achilles Heel for the government when discourse transcends to armed forces issues. Congress and AAP have got the cue and thousands of party workers have descended on Bhiwani to now portray that the Grand Old Party and the AAP are the ones who will do justice to Grewal and deter such incidents from happening in the future. Opposition Congress and the AAP are showing no hesitation in exploiting it to the maximum for political gains in the upcoming elections.
Frantic scenes at Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia hospital yesterday gave away the picture clearly. Delhi Chief MInister Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi were detained after they tried to enter the RML where Grewal’s body was kept. Leaders like Ahmad Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Sheila Dikshit were detained and then let off. Such incidents have given the parties what they were after–spotlight on the ‘right side of things’ in tumultuous times over boiling issues like the subedar suicide and OROP.