Other States

Reconsider ‘Agniveer’ scheme: JD(U) tells Centre

JD(U) leader and the party’s parliamentary board chairman Upendra Kushwaha. File

JD(U) leader and the party’s parliamentary board chairman Upendra Kushwaha. File | Photo Credit: Ranjeet Kumar

At a time when violent protests over the Central government’s Agniveer scheme for short-term recruitment in the defence services continued to spread across Bihar, the ruling alliance’s Janata Dal-United (JD-U) on Thursday suggested that the government should “reconsider” the scheme.

Tagging the Prime Minister’s Office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, JD(U) leader and the party’s parliamentary board chairman Upendra Kushwaha tweeted in Hindi: “On the plan over the proposed change to [process of] recruitment in the armed forces, Air Force and naval force through the Agniveer and Agnipath schemes, the government should reconsider.”

The JD(U), which part of the ruling alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in both the State and the Centre has, of late, taking a different stance that of its ally on several issues, including anti-conversion law, caste-based census and population control.

“There is no need for any such remark or comment at this time of turmoil. Mr. Kushwaha could have waited for some more time before making his remark, which smacks of the Opposition’s voice,” a senior State BJP leader preferring anonymity told The Hindu.

A JD(U) leader and party MLA said, “Apparently, the plan or scheme for short-term recruitment in defence services by the Central government does not augur well. The Central government must reconsider it. See how the protests by aspirants is spreading fast to other areas in the State and outside. It must be checked on time.”

Also read | Amid growing protests, government clarifies on Agnipath scheme

Objections are being raised against the “temporary” system of recruitment under the Agniveer scheme, leaving aspirants with fears of unemployment after the four years provided under it are over.

Protests against the scheme turned violent for the second consecutive day in Bihar, and incidents of rail and road traffic blockages were reported from several places. At some places, protestors set ablaze train coaches and vandalised the vehicle of a BJP MLA, Aruna Devi, and the BJP party office in Nawada. At several places, police baton charged protestors to disperse them from railway stations.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2022 3:29:03 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/reconsider-agniveer-scheme-jdu-tells-centre/article65533209.ece