Where will the youth who dream of joining the army go? Has the issue of Agniveer become an electoral firepath for the BJP?

Ananya Shroff
5 Min Read

New Delhi : Like the last Lok Sabha election, the army is an issue in this election as well. While the air strike was discussed a lot in 2019 and it became a big election issue, the issue in this Lok Sabha election is the army recruitment scheme Agneepath. Congress has promised in its manifesto that if it forms the government, it will end the Agneepath scheme of army recruitment and instead of Agniveer, recruitment will be done in the army under the old recruitment process. However, the BJP is counting the benefits of Agniveer and Agneepath scheme. The displeasure of the youth regarding the Agniveer scheme was seen even when the scheme was implemented. Questions were also asked repeatedly about it. Just before the elections, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh praised the Agneepath scheme and also said that changes can be made in it if needed. However, this statement has been given repeatedly. When the Agneepath scheme was implemented, it was clearly said that the way is open for improvement in it as per the need in future. The army is also taking internal feedback on Agniveer.

NBT asked BJP that Congress has promised to end the Agnipath scheme and this is an issue among the youth, now what is BJP's thinking on this issue? BJP national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said that Congress has no moral right to talk about the army and raise any issue related to the army. In their time, soldiers did not have bulletproof jackets and mother-son were buying VVIP helicopters. He said that the Defense Minister and Home Minister have clearly stated the party's thinking about Agniveer. Bhatia said that the Agniveer scheme is in the interest of the country. It is in the interest of our youth. We all know that regular recruitment is taking place. 25 percent of Agniveers will be made permanent in the armed forces. Where there are BJP-ruled governments, there is a separate place for them in the police and similarly there is special reservation for them in the paramilitary forces.

Gaurav Bhatia said that if anyone has taken the most care of the youth and the Indian Army, then it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But repeatedly breaking the morale of the army, even after the removal of Article 370, when lakhs of Kashmiri youth came to join the army, the Congress party felt pain. Similarly, opposing the Agniveer scheme from the very beginning shows that the mental state of the Congress is a bit bad and they need treatment.

In fact, before the implementation of the Agneepath scheme, recruitment in the army was closed for two years due to Kovid. Then thousands of youth who applied for the Army and Air Force had also passed the medical and physical test. They were waiting for the written examination. The date of the written examination was fixed several times and then changed. But then the examination was not held. Similarly, thousands of youth applied for Airman in the Air Force. They also passed the medical, physical and written examination and their enrollment list was to come and on the basis of that they had to join the Air Force. But the enrollment list did not come and it was repeatedly said that there is a delay in it. Then along with the Agneepath scheme, it was announced that all the recruitments will be done under this scheme and the old recruitment process will not move forward now. In such a situation, the biggest protest of the youth was why the old recruitment process was not completed.

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