Agnipath Scheme: WB CM Mamata Banerjee alleges 'BJP trying to create armed cadre base'

Terming the scheme as an insult to the armed forces, Banerjee also wondered whether the BJP plans to hire 'Agniveer' soldiers as "watchmen" at its party offices, after their four-year service period.

PTIUpdated: Monday, June 20, 2022, 01:31 PM IST
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WB CM Mamata Banerjee alleges BJP is trying to fool people ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha elections | (PTI Photo)

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday slammed the BJP-led central government over the 'Agnipath' scheme, alleging that the saffron camp was trying to create its own "armed" cadre base through the new defence recruitment programme.

Terming the scheme as an insult to the armed forces, Banerjee also wondered whether the BJP plans to hire 'Agniveer' soldiers as "watchmen" at its party offices, after their four-year service period.

"The BJP is trying to create its own armed cadre base through this scheme. What will they do after four years? The party wants to give arms into the hands of the youth," the TMC boss said in the assembly.

Banerjee also said the BJP is trying to fool the masses ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls by announcing such schemes.

"They had promised two crore jobs every year. But, now they are only fooling the people of the country in the name of these schemes," she added.

The BJP legislative party staged a walkout from the assembly protesting against Banerjee's remarks.

Defense Ministry clears 'No rolling back' of Agnipath

The defence ministry, on Sunday during a press conference, made it clear that the Agnipath recruitment scheme won't be rolled back.

"Why should it be rolled back? It is the only progressive step to making the armed forces young. It is a question of protecting the country," Lieutenant General Anil Puri, Additional Secretary in the Department of Military Affairs, said yesterday.

Lt General Puri also said that anyone involved in protests, arson and vandalism against the scheme would not qualify to join the three services under the new model.

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