Is this the job of the jawan? Is this the respect that Modi government gives to our Jawans? What is the justification of using the army as contract labourers?—AICC
The use of army soldiers to build bridges on the Yamuna flood plains in Delhi for a private event of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar gave ammunition to Congress on Tuesday to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying it was "shameful" and asked him if this was his type of nationalism and patriotism.
As the controversial three-day cultural extravaganza starting Friday drew criticism, another opposition party JD(U) gave a notice in Rajya Sabha to raise the issue of environmental degradation.
"The last few days have been an eye-opener. The first shocker was the distressing news that the Defence Ministry had asked Indian Army jawans to build (pontoon) bridges for a private event on the banks of the Yamuna.
"Is this the job of the jawan? Is this the respect that Modi government gives to our Jawans? What is the justification of using the army as contract labourers?", the AICC said in a commentary.
Noting that Indias Jawans lay down their lives for the honour of the great nation, it said it is "shameful" that the Modi Government asked one of the world's largest and the bravest armies, to do the "bidding" of a private organisation.
"Is this your Nationalism, Mr Prime Minister?", the party asked in the commentary posted on its website.
In the commentary titled "Is this your patriotism, Shri Modi, using Indias brave Jawans for private events?", the party said that the Prime Minister and the BJP should stop playing politics with the Armed Forces. "Nationalism may be only a vote catching phrase for the BJP and its Ministers, but for the Jawans it is their life & blood," it added.
Sources said JD(U) president Sharad Yadav has given a notice to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari.
Yadav intends to raise the issue immediately after the House begins its proceedings on Wednesday, sources said.
While President Pranab Mukherjee pulled out of attending the valedictory function on Sunday, speculation raged today over whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the event on Friday.