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Agnipath Scheme: Varun Gandhi writes to Rajnath Singh, Mayawati hits out at govt

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Days after Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched the ‘Agnipath Scheme’, Bharatiya Janata Party’s MP Varun Gandhi wrote a letter to him saying this new scheme may give rise to more disaffection among the youths.

The Lok Sabha MP from Pilibhit asked the government to make its stand clear, as he was of the opinion that the young population are in doubt about the radical changes in the soldiers’ recruitment process.

He also added that the provisions under the ‘Agniveer’ scheme like its short term — 4-year stint, contractual nature and no provisions for pension, may give rise to disaffection among the youth.

ALSO READ: Agnipath recruitment scheme: What is it and why are defence aspirants protesting

“As 75% of soldiers will become ‘unemployed’ after four years and their total numbers will keep rising every year, it will give rise to more disaffection among the youth,” Mr. Gandhi said.

Adding on, Gandhi questioned the prospectus of these retired soldiers, citing corporate sector had not shown much interest in hiring even the regular military personnel who retired after 15 years.

On the issue of recruitment under Agniveers, Gandhi said, “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 added this may further add to their financial hardships as well.

Apart from Gandhi, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati too hit out at government and termed it ‘unfair towards rural youth’.

She took to Twitter and wrote in Hindi, “Even though it has been called an attractive scheme, the youth of the country are dissatisfied and angry. they are openly opposing the change in the army recruitment system.”

ALSO READ: Agnipath scheme: Women will be allowed to apply in recruitment of soldiers

Adding more, she wrote, “They believe that the government is limiting the soldier’s tenure to four years in order to eliminate pension benefits in the army and government jobs, which is grossly unfair an deleterious to the future of rural youth and their families.”

The BSP supremo asked the government to reconsider its decision immediately.

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal too echoed similar issues and asked the government to rethink on its strategy.

Earlier on 14 June, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh unveiled the Agnipath scheme for the recruitment of soldiers in the Army, Air Force and the Navy — largely on a 4-year short term contractual basis.

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