Agnipath: Mayawati Asks Govt to Reconsider Scheme, Says It’s ‘Unfair’ to Rural Youth
Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Thursday hit out at the Union government over its new 'Agnipath scheme' of recruiting soldiers, terming it “unfair towards rural youth”.
As announced, 'Agnipath' or 'Agniveer' scheme is a process for recruiting soldiers in the Army, Navy and Air force, to be hired for a term of four years on contract.
The scheme was announced by Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday.
"After keeping the recruitment pending in the Army for a long time, the Centre has now announced a new recruitment scheme 'Agniveer' with a short duration of four years in the Army.
“Even though it has been called an attractive scheme, the youths of the country are dissatisfied and angry. They are openly opposing the change in army recruitment system,” Mayawati said in a tweet in Hindi.
"They believe that the government is limiting the soldiers’ tenure to four years in order to eliminate pension benefits in the army and government jobs, which is grossly unfair and deleterious to the future of rural youth and their families," Mayawati said.
In a series of tweets, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said that the new move of recruitment will add to the woes of the people already beset with inflation and poverty.
"People in the country are already afflicted by rising poverty, inflation, unemployment, wrong policies, and arrogant working style of the government, in such a situation, the uneasiness spread among the youth regarding the new recruitment system in the army is causing anxiety.
“The government should reconsider its decision immediately, this is the demand of BSP,” Mayawati added.
'Agnipath' Will Create More Disaffection in Youth: Varun Gandhi
Questioning various provisions of the Centre's 'Agnipath' scheme that envisages recruitment of soldiers on a short-term contractual basis, BJP MP Varun Gandhi Thursday said it will give rise to more disaffection among the youths and asked the government to make its stand clear.
In a letter to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Gandhi said the young population has shared their questions and doubts with him about the radical changes in the soldiers’ recruitment process which also proposes that the 75% of the recruits under the scheme will retire after four years of service without pension.
As 75% of soldiers will become "unemployed" after four years and their total numbers will keep rising every year, it will give a rise to more disaffection among the youth, Gandhi said.
He asked what will be the prospects for these retired soldiers when the corporate sector does not show much interest in hiring even the regular military personnel who retire after 15 years.
Also, four years of service will disrupt their education, and they will also face difficulties in getting another job or more education as they will be older to others with similar qualification, he said, adding they will face financial hardship as well.
These soldiers with only six-month basic training may be a cause of disruption to the existing regimental formations, the Lok Sabha MP said.
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