Chandigarh, Jun 28 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday said his government will soon bring a resolution in the state assembly against the Agnipath scheme, asserting that the Centre’s military recruitment initiative will destroy the basic fabric of the Indian Army.
Earlier, he endorsed the suggestion of Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa of bringing a resolution against the scheme.
During the Zero Hour in the ongoing budget session in the Vidhan Sabha, Congress leader Bajwa raised the issue of Agnipath, arguing the scheme will negatively affect the youth of Punjab.
Mann, later in a tweet, said, “The BJP government’s Agnipath scheme is an irrational move which will destroy the basic fabric of the Indian Army. To secure the future of our youth, we will soon bring a resolution against this scheme in Vidhan Sabha. We seek support from all the parties.” In the House, Bajwa expressed apprehension that with the scheme, Punjab’s representation in the Army will plunge from 7.8 per cent currently to 2.3 percent in future.
“This scheme is against the interests of Punjab,” Bajwa said in the assembly.
He demanded the CM to bring a joint resolution in the current assembly session against the Agnipath scheme.
Mann dubbed the matter an emotive issue and endorsed Bajwa’s suggestion, saying that all state assemblies in the country should bring a resolution against the scheme.
“I am against this and I agree with you,” Mann said responding to Bajwa’s suggestion.
Mann also took on the Centre over demonetisation, three farm laws, now repealed, and the goods and services tax.
On the Agnipath scheme, Mann said, “When we think about the idea that a 17-year-old youth will join the defence forces, and most of them will return after mere four years of service, they will become ‘ex’ within four years without even any benefits that ex-servicemen are entitled to. “I strictly oppose this scheme,” he said.
Hitting out at the BJP, Mann said, “Their leader Kailash Vijayvargiya is saying if he has to appoint security personnel at his party office, he would give priority to those who have served as Agniveers. This is shameful.” Mann said that he fails to understand why the BJP government brings such laws which face “opposition” from several quarters.
“They brought farm laws, the CAA, now Agnipath, and every time they bring these laws they keep saying once people understand, they will realise their benefits. Are they the only ones wise enough to understand everything? The laws which people cannot understand should not be made,” he said.
Notably, 10 days ago some youths had held a protest against Agnipath in Jalandhar, and spoke to Mann over phone.
Chief Minister Mann, besides advising them to hold their protests peacefully, had assured them that the Aam Aadmi Party government supports their demands and was in favour of rollback of the scheme.
In the assembly, Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma defended the Agnipath scheme and alleged that the House was being misled over this issue.
Countering Bajwa on his suggestion, Sharma said it is their compulsion to oppose it (Agnipath) for the sake of opposition.
“They know if this scheme is implemented, they will not come to power in 2029 as well,” said the BJP leader.
Congress MLA Sukhpal Khaira sought condemnation of the banning of Sidhu Moosewala’s ‘SYL’ song by YouTube on the Centre’s complaint. He demanded that it should be made part of the resolution. PTI CHS SUN VSD KVK KVK
This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.
Source: The Print