With an eye on next year’s assembly polls, the BJP government in Uttarakhand has planned to felicitate the families of over 1,700 martyrs from the state.
The Uttarakhand government will also collect soil from the martyr’s home which will be used in construction of proposed ‘Sainik Dham’.
Minister of Soldier Welfare and Industrial Development in Uttarakhand, Ganesh Joshi told IANS that in the proposed ‘Saheed Samman Yatra’, families of 1,757 martyrs will be felicitated.
“In a month-long proposed yatra, which will start in the first week of October, the family members of all martyrs will be felicitated and soil from their courtyard will be collected. All the soil collected from the martyr’s courtyard will be used in sainik dham, for which foundation stone was laid in January this year,” Joshi said.
Joshi mentioned that Saheed Samman Yatra and collection of soil from martyrs’ homes is a government program and everyone is welcomed to join it.
The proposed ‘sainik dham’ in Purkul Gaon would have the details of all the defence personnel from the state who have laid down their lives for the country since Independence.
During the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Uttarakhand as the ‘Sainik Dham’ as the state has given and continues to give several brave soldiers to the country.
The sources in saffron camp said that the yatra was supposed to start from September 1 but was postponed due to bad weather conditions in the state. A BJP leader said that the yatra will be used as an opportunity to reach out to defence personnel from the state which plays a crucial role in elections.
Another senior BJP functionary from state said that the party does not have the exact number of ex-servicemen and serving defence personnel from the state but there is general perception that every sixth jawan (soldier) in the country is from Uttarakhand.
“Similarly at the state level it is believed that one member from each family in Uttarakhand is either serving defence personnel or was ex-servicemen.”
“There is no exact count of ex-servicemen and serving defence personnel but they and their family members play a crucial and decisive role in deciding the electoral fortunes of political parties. And the party will use this opportunity to win their support,” a party insider said.