BJP MP Varun Gandhi on Friday fired a fresh salvo at the central government over its new Agnipath scheme for recruitment of armed defence personnel on a contractual basis. Gandhi questioned the government's scheme for not including provisions for pension to the Agniveers.
The BJP MP wrote, "Agniveers, who would serve for a short term, have no right to receive pension, then why this 'convenience' has been given to the public representatives? If people who are protecting the country are not entitled to receive pension, then I am ready to forego pension. Can we MLAs and MPs give up our pensions to make sure that Avengers will receive theirs?"
The Centre on June 14 had unveiled this new short-term recruitment policy for Indian youths to serve in the armed forces. The Agnipath scheme will enable youngsters aged 17.5 to 21 years to be inducted into any of the three services as 'Agniveers' for a period of four years. In every batch, 25 per cent of Agniveers will be selected for the permanent cadre in the armed forces and the remaining 75 percent will be relieved from duty without any gratuity or pension benefits.
In the aftermath of protests, the military leadership had said there would be no rollback of the Agnipath scheme, adding that those who participated in protests and violence would not be recruited. The Ministry of Home Affairs at the Centre and several state governments have announced that Agniveers -- young soldiers recruited through the scheme -- will be given preference in filling vacancies in police forces.
Copyright©2023 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today