As opposition leaders and army aspirants slam the central government over the launch of the Agnipath scheme, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) MP Varun Gandhi has also raised his concern over the new model for military recruitment in India.
Writing a letter to Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the Lok Sabha MP said that the Agnipath scheme, which was recently announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government, will lead to wasted costs for training, and increase unemployment.
Posting his letter on Twitter, Varun Gandhi wrote, “The youth of India have a lot of questions regarding the Agnipath scheme. The government should offer clarification regarding the army recruitment scheme to put their minds at ease.”
In the letter addressed to Rajnath Singh, Gandhi wrote, “As 75% of soldiers will become ‘unemployed’ after four years and their total numbers will keep rising every year, it will give rise to more disaffection among the youth.”
आदरणीय @rajnathsingh जी,
‘अग्निपथ’ योजना को लेकर देश के युवाओं के मन में कई सवाल हैं।
युवाओं को असमंजस की स्थिति से बाहर निकालने के लिए सरकार अतिशीघ्र योजना से जुड़े नीतिगत तथ्यों को सामने रख कर अपना पक्ष साफ करे।
He further questioned the government over the future of the soldiers who retire through the Agnipath scheme, asking how they will make it in the corporate sector when companies are not even interested in hiring regular military personnel who retire after 15 years.
Saying that these soldiers will face financial hardship, Gandhi wrote, “Four years of service will disrupt their education, and they will also face difficulties in getting another job or more education as they will be older than others with similar qualifications.”
He further stated that the low rate of absorption of the ‘Agniveers’ who are recruited into the army through the Agnipath scheme will lead to the wastage of training costs. “These soldiers with only six-month basic training may be a cause of disruption to the existing regimental formation,” the BJP MP said.
According to the central government, the newly-introduced Agnipath scheme will bring in men and women between the ages of 17-and-a-half and 21 for four-year tenure at non-officer ranks, with only a quarter retained for longer periods.
This new military recruitment scheme has sparked a massive row in the country, with protests against the government and the Agnipath scheme erupting in several states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jammu and Kashmir.
READ | Agnipath scheme: Protests over new army recruitment system turn violent, tense situation in Bihar, UP