Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa, on Saturday, urged the AAP government in Punjab to bring a resolution against the Centre's Agnipath scheme in the upcoming budget session of the state Assembly. The budget session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha is scheduled to commence on June 24.
Bajwa, the Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly, has also requested the state government to take an all-party delegation to meet the prime minister over the Agnipath scheme. Protests have sprung in parts of Haryana and Punjab against the scheme, which aims at the recruitment of the youth aged between 17 and a half and 21 into the armed forces for a four-year period.
Bajwa, who is a legislator from Qadian, said, "The Agnipath scheme will negatively impact the youth of Punjab." Under the new recruitment scheme, Punjab's representation in the Army will plunge dramatically from 7.8 percent currently to 2.3 percent, he said.
"This is an insult to the sacrifices made by Punjabis for India," the Congress leader added. "The resultant loss of jobs for Punjabis and the chaos, frustration, and unhappiness caused will lead to destabilization of this strategic border state. This situation will be exploited by anti-national forces and enemies lurking across the border," he claimed.
The leader also added that the scheme "helps nobody, and the current shock and awe tactics employed to unveil the scheme has only demoralized thousands of applicants who wish to serve in the armed forces... For Indians to be retired at 21, with no chance at further growth apart from some nebulous promises of jobs in the Central Armed Police Forces will further disincentivize the youth of India from signing up for the armed forces," he said.
The Centre on Tuesday unveiled the ambitious scheme for recruitment of the youth aged between 17 and a half and 21 in the Army, Navy, and the Air Force, largely on a four-year short-term contractual basis. The youth recruited under the scheme will be known as "Agniveers". After the completion of the four-year tenure, 25 percent of the recruits from each specific batch will be offered regular service.