Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

Defend ‘Agnipath’ scheme, explain benefits to people: BJP to its leaders

New Delhi : Amid the ongoing violent protests in several states and bitter criticism by many veterans of the recently announced ‘Agnipath’ scheme, the BJP is planning to make its cadre aware about the benefits of the new military recruitment initiative. The party is also asking its workers and leaders to strongly defend the scheme and explain its benefits to the people.

Sources said that the BJP leaders are being asked to explain that the recruitment process in the armed forces is not stopping after the ‘Agnipath’ scheme, and 25 percent of the ‘Agniveers’ will be absorbed in the armed forces.

“Party leaders are also told to explain to the public that the future of ‘Agniveers’ is not insecure after four years as they are getting Rs 12 lakh and priority in jobs in all sectors as everyone likes to recruit disciplined, skilled and committed workforce. Many state governments have announced that they will give priority to Agniveers in jobs,” the sources said.

On one of the concerns that after four years they might engage in anti-national activities, the BJP leaders have been asked to explain that someone who joined the armed forces will never get involved in such acts. A party insider said that leaders have been advised to strongly defend the new recruitment scheme and made it clear that the government is not going to withdraw it.

While strongly defending the new recruitment scheme, a senior BJP leader said, “Our leaders will also appeal to not get misled by the political parties against a good initiative of the Union government to provide jobs.”

Several union ministers have started sharing facts against the myths about the scheme. Union Minister Anurag Thakur met aspirants of armed forces in his parliamentary constituency and cleared their doubts against the new recruitment scheme and assured that it will benefit the youth of the country.

On Thursday, answering the concerns of what will ‘Agniveers’ do after four years, the government had said that they (Agniveers) have better chances of getting jobs compared to others at the age of 24 years after leading a disciplined and skilled life for four years. The government also said that the Union Home Ministry will give priority to Agniveers in recruitment to the CAPFs and Assam Rifles and most importantly one out four will be absorbed in the armed forces.

On June 14, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced that the Union Cabinet has approved a recruitment scheme for Indian youth to serve in the Armed Forces. The scheme is called ‘Agnipath’ and the youth selected under this scheme will be known as ‘Agniveers’. About 46,000 Agniveers will be recruited this year.

Violent protests have been reported from various states. A senior BJP leader said that the protests are sponsored by some political parties.

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