Centre asking for caste certificate from Agniveers: Tejashwi. Rajnath hits back

Updated on Jul 19, 2022 02:04 PM IST

Agnipath scheme: RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav accused the BJP of running away from caste census while asking for caste certificates from defence aspirants.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav
Defence minister Rajnath Singh and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav
By | Written by Aryan Prakash

Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday dismissed the opposition's allegation of caste certificates being asked from the defence aspirants.

“It's just a rumour. Earlier system, existing since pre-independence era, is going on. No change has been made. Old system is being continued,” ANI quoted the minister who spoke to the reporters outside Parliament. When asked again, he lost his cool and added there was no need for clarification.

The defence minister's statement comes after opposition leaders including Tejashwi Yadav had hit out at the Centre for allegedly asking for caste certificates from the ‘Agniveers’.

Taking to Twitter, the leader of opposition in Bihar assembly Tejashwi Yadav shared a screenshot of the notification which asked the aspirants to share their caste certificates.

"Don't ask the caste of the monk But ask the caste of the soldier. The BJP government of the Sangh runs away from the caste census but asks for caste from Agniveer brothers who gave their lives for the service of the country. These castes are being asked because the country's largest casteist organization RSS will later sort out Agniveers on the basis of caste," tweeted Yadav.

Later, in a separate tweet he said," The contractual system ‘Agnipath’ was not implemented 75 years after independence. More than 75 per cent of soldiers were not laid off after joining the forces. But the casteist government of the Sangh will reject 75 per cent soldiers on the basis of caste? Why need a caste certificate when there is no reservation in the armed forces?'"

Not just the RJD, BJP ally Janata Dal (United) too questioned the need to ask caste certificates from the candidates. “Honourable defence minister Rajnath Singh ji, there is no reservation in the armed forces. What is the need to ask caste certificates from the candidates? The concerned officials should answer,” JDU leader Upendra Kushwaha tweeted.

The Centre on June 14 had announced the ‘Agnipath’ scheme for short-term recruitments into the three defence services for a period of four years. The Modi government had said that the armed forces wanted to bring youthfulness and experience. The government has already said that the Agnipath scheme won't be rolled back.

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