West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee slammed the Narendra Modi government on Monday over the Agnipath scheme for armed forces recruitment, alleging that the BJP was attempting to create its own armed cadre through the scheme.
“Through this scheme, the BJP is trying to construct its own armed cadre base. What will they do after four years? The party wants to put arms in the hands of the youth,” the Trinamool Congress chief stated.
The Bengal chief minister also chastised the saffron party over BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya’s remarks about giving priority to ‘Agniveers’ while allocating the work of guarding the BJP offices. She questioned whether the BJP intends to hire ‘Agniveer’ soldiers as “watchmen” at its party offices after they complete their four-year service term.
The attack by the Bengal chief minister comes a day after Janata Dal-Secular leader HD Kumaraswamy alleged that the Agnipath scheme is a plot to bring the army under the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Despite protests, the Centre has already stated that the Agnipath recruitment scheme will not be scrapped. “Why should it be rolled back? It is the only progressive step toward making the military look younger. It is a question of protecting the country,” said Lieutenant General Anil Puri, additional secretary, Department of Military Affairs, at a tri-services press conference.