TMC MP urges govt to withdraw Agnipath scheme immediately in interest of country
TMC MP Saugata Roy on Wednesday urged the government to immediately withdraw Agnipath scheme in the interest of the country, citing the protests by youths and security concerns expressed by experts.
Raising the issue in Lok Sabha during discussion on matters of urgent public importance under Rule 377, Roy said soldiers would be recruited for four years only under the Agnipath scheme with no retirement benefits like pension and medical insurance.
After four years, only 25 per cent of recruits would be absorbed as regulars for 15 years while the remaining 75 per cent will be relieved, he said.
''The youth feel that the government policy on recruitment to the armed forces is playing with their career. They are questioning as to what will happen to their careers after four years when there is so much unemployment in the country. That is why the youth are setting fire to trains,'' he said.
''Why the youth are protesting in the streets fearing that their career will be jeopardised under the scheme,'' the Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader said.
Political and security experts criticise the scheme for other reasons, he said.
The experts argue that with a large number of youngsters having weapons training and no adequate source of livelihood sending back to their villages, will pose a security threat and it might cause severe damage to the law and order situation, Roy said.
''Even if a small percentage of such youths take to crime to fulfil their basic needs. I urge the government to consider the serious impact of such a wrong decision like Agnipath and take immediate steps to withdraw the scheme for the interest of the nation,'' he said.
Several parts of the country had witnessed protests after the announcement of the scheme that seeks to recruit youths between the age bracket of 17-and-a-half years and 21 years for four years with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years.
For 2022, the upper age limit has been extended to 23 years.
He said 618 fishermen were in Pakistani jails with 166 of them having completed their sentence. He said 1,513 boats are also in the custody of neighbouring countries.
Patel urged Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar to make further efforts to ensure the repatriation of the fishermen.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)