Yogi's note to youth as Akhilesh, Mayawati raise concern over 'Agnipath' scheme
Agnipath recruitment scheme: Several parts in the country have seen protests while veterans too have raised concerns.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday tweeted a note for the youth on 'Agnipath' military scheme as opposition leaders - Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati - tweeted criticism of the central government's plan for short-term recruitments. Earlier in the day, Mayawati had called the scheme "unfair" as she posted a series of tweets, calling for the government's attention. Akhilesh Yadav too raised concerns as he stressed that national security needs long-term solutions.
The former chief ministers' tweets came at a time when Bihar is witnessing huge protests over the scheme. A passenger train was set ablaze at Chhapra in Saran district as protests escalated. While veterans have raised concern over the new plan, some other parts in the country - including Gwalior - have also seen demonstrations.
Hours after Yogi Adityanath's announcement on Thursday that the youth recruited by the special scheme - 'Agniveers' - will be priortised for jobs in the UP police, criticism poured from different quarters. "National security is not an alternate or unofficial issue. It requires serious and long-term solutions. The careless attitude, which is being adopted for army recruitments, will be harmful for the country and the country's youth," Akhilesh Yadav tweeted.
"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," Mayawati wrote on Twitter.
“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,” she wrote in another post 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," she added.
However, dismissing the criticism, Adityanath tweeted on Thursday afternoon: “Young comrades, Agneepath Yojana' will give a new dimension to your life as well as give a golden foundation to the future. Don't be deceived. Our 'Agniveer', determined to serve Mother Bharati, will be an invaluable fund of the nation and the @UPGovt will give preference to Agniveers in police and other services.”
Among other leaders who have opposed the scheme are Rahul Gandhi of the Congress. "When India faces threats on two fronts, the uncalled for Agnipath scheme reduces the operational effectiveness of our armed forces. The BJP govt must stop compromising the dignity, traditions, valour & discipline of our forces," he said on Wednesday, and yet again targeted the government on Thursday amid protests.
The recruitment scheme was revealed by Rajnath Singh and service chiefs on Tuesday at the same time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office announced 10 lakh jobs over the next 1.5 years.
The government has said it will it “is envisaged that average age profile of Indian Armed forces would come down by about 4-5 years by implementation of this scheme”. “The nation stands to immensely benefit by infusion of highly inspired youth with deeper understanding of self-discipline, diligence and focus who would be adequately skilled and will be able to contribute in other sectors,” an official statement read.