Don't divide Army into two categories: Kirti Chakra awardee's mother after meeting Rahul

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Raebareli/Lucknow (UP), Jul 9 (PTI) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday met Kirti Chakra recipient Captain Anshuman Singh's mother, who later spoke against the Agnipath scheme and urged the government not to divide the Army into two categories.

Her appeal comes amid Gandhi raising questions on the Agnipath scheme and claiming that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh "lied" in Parliament about the issue of compensation to the families of martyred Agniveers.

"I request the government not to divide the Army into two categories," the late captain's mother Manju Singh told reporters after Gandhi met her at a guesthouse in Raebareli.

The four-year job role is not appropriate as Agniveers who are let go would struggle to find another suitable career, she said while raising apprehension on the Army scheme launched in 2022 for short-term recruitment of jawans.

"They (Agniveers) will be mentally and physically weak after four years after which they would be unable to pursue their studies... this is not good," she added.

Her son was posthumously conferred the Kirti Chakra, India's second-highest peacetime gallantry award, by President Droupadi Murmu on July 5 during an investiture ceremony.

Capt Singh died while rescuing people from a major fire in July last year.

While he was returning to Delhi, Gandhi was asked about his meeting with the Army officer's mother. He said he will speak about the matter in Parliament.

Gandhi had called the martyr's family, which resides in Lucknow, to meet them at the guest house.

After meeting the Congress leader, the late captain's mother told reporters that Gandhi assured all possible support to their family.

"Gandhi said that he requested the government to end the Agniveer scheme as it is not appropriate for the Army," she said.

During his Raebareli visit, Gandhi, the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, also visited the AIIMS there and met party workers and local residents of his constituency.

After landing at the Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport in Lucknow, Gandhi left by road for Raebareli, which is about 80 km from the state capital. Party workers and leaders were at the Lucknow airport to give a warm send off to Rahul Gandhi.

On the way to Raebareli, he stopped at Churwa temple near Bachhrawan and paid obeisance to Lord Hanuman.

"Rahul Gandhi worshipped at the Churwa Hanuman temple and prayed to Lord Hanuman for the happiness, peace and prosperity of the country," the Congress party said on X.

Gandhi reached the Bohemian guest house, where he met party workers, delegations including that of Indian Industries Association (IIA) and locals, a local party leader said.

He also visited the martyrs' memorial in Lalganj and laid a wreath there and planted a sapling. He also visited AIIMS-Raebareli.

In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, Gandhi won from the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat by a margin of more than 3.90 lakh votes. PTI COR ABN RPA SNS RPA

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