Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Congress party, if voted to power in next elections, would take all measures for the welfare of ex-servicemen.
Addressing a press conference, along with TPCC Manifesto Committee chairman Damodar Rajanarasimha, after receiving a representation from representatives of Telangana Ex-Servicemen Federation at Gandhi Bhavan on Saturday, Uttam Kumar Reddy promised that the next Congress Government would resolve all the pending issues of ex-services.
He said soldiers spend best part of their lives serving the country on borders in both war and peace time and it is the responsibility of the government and society to take care of their needs when they retire. He said Central Government and Ministry of Defence has issued several guidelines for State Governments for the welfare of ex-servicemen.
However, he said the TRS Government did not implement those guidelines and provisions of Central Laws for ex-servicemen’s welfare.
Uttam Kumar Reddys said that ex-services were eligible to get a housing plot and five acres of cultivable land. He said Telangana Government neither allotted a plot nor provide cultivable land to any ex-servicemen during the last four-and-a-half years.
He promised that the next Congress Government would provide housing plots to all ex-soldiers and Sainik Colonies would be established in all 31 districts of Telangana. The ex-servicemen would also be given Rs. 5 lakh grant for construction of their houses.
Further, another Rs. 5 lakh would be arranged as bank loan whose interest burden would be borne by the State Government.
The TPCC president said that the previous Congress regime had allotted lands to ex-servicemen. However, the Revenue Department did not give possessions of allotted lands. He promised that immediately after formation of next Congress Government, all the allottees would be handed over possession of land.
He said all ex-servicemen would also be given 5 acres of cultivable land across the Telangana State. He said that the Congress party has always worked for the welfare of ex-servicemen as a gratitude to the services they rendered for the nation.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said he himself is a retired soldier. He said he had joined the National Defence Academy at the age of 16 years and then served Indian Air Force (IAF) as a fighter pilot. He said he had operated MIG-21 and MIG-23 fighter jets while defending the country on the borders of China and Pakistan.
He said soldiers risk their lives to serve the country with complete dedication in both war and peace time. As a former soldier himself, he said he was aware of the problems faced their families. Therefore, he said he would personally ensure that the next Congress Government address all the issues concerning ex-servicemen.
The TPCC President promised that the Central laws of providing 2% reservation in education for children of ex-servicemen would be implemented. Similarly, he said ex-servicemen were also eligible to get 2% quota in government jobs and this would be implemented if Congress is voted to power. Ex-servicemen are also appointed as Special Police Officers.
However, the SPOs do not get salaries or other benefits on par with regular policemen. He said the Congress Government would bring the SPOs under Home Ministry and they would be given benefits on par with regular police forces.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the cash amount for recipients of Shourya Pathakam and Gallantry Awards would be increased. He said there would be a significant hike in the compensation paid to the families of soldiers who lay down their lives on the line of duty.
He said one member of a martyr’s family would be given a government job. He said there were nearly 2-3 lakh ex-servicemen in Telangana and the Congress party, if voted to power, would take all measures for their welfare on priority basis.
Speaking on the occasion, Telangana Ex-servicemen Federation chairman Karunakar Reddy thanked the Congress party for accepting all their demands and including them in the manifesto. He appealed all ex-servicemen in Telangana State to support the Congress party in next Assembly elections. (INN)