Punjab Government’s Resolve Against Agnipath Defense Force Scheme
Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, who proposed the resolution in the House, said he would soon raise Agnipath with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah and demand its backtracking or his referral to a defense committee.
The Punjab Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution by voice vote against the Agnipath military recruitment scheme.
The Assembly urged the Center to immediately cancel it in “the general interest of the country”.
This makes Punjab the first state to do so.
Let’s take a closer look at who is proposing the resolution, what it says, and what it means:
Who proposed the resolution?
Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann proposed the resolution in the House on the day the budget session closed.
What does the resolution say?
According to the resolution, the House recommends that the state government take up the matter with the Union government to roll back the Agnipath program immediately.
According The footprint, the resolution reads: “The unilateral announcement of the Agnipath program by the Government of India has drawn widespread reactions in all states including Punjab.”
“The regime also has a propensity to weaken the long-standing esprit de corps of the armed forces. By this resolution, this House recommends that the state government raise the matter with the Center so that the Agnipath program is canceled immediately,” it read.
“The Punjab Vidhan Sabha strongly believes that the scheme in which young people will only be employed for a period of four years and only up to 25% will be retained, is neither in the interest of national security nor of the youth of this country.
“This policy is likely to create discontent among young people who wish to serve the nation’s armed forces for life.”
“The youths of Punjab view service in the Indian Armed Forces as a matter of pride and honor and are renowned for their bravery and courage. This program has dashed the dreams of many young people in Punjab who aspired to join the armed forces as regular soldiers,” the resolution reads.
What does it mean?
The resolution is purely symbolic.
What did Mann say?
Taking part in the discussion on the resolution, Mann said he would soon raise the issue of Project Agnipath with the Prime Minister and the Union Home Secretary and either demand its withdrawal or refer it to a defense committee.
Vehemently opposing the program, Mann said the move was against the country’s youth.
“This policy is likely to create discontent among young people who wish to serve the nation’s armed forces for life,” Mann said.
More than a million Punjab soldiers serve in the country’s armed forces and many of them make the ultimate sacrifice of their lives at the country’s borders every year, he said.
“The youths of Punjab view service in the Indian Armed Forces as a matter of pride and honor and are renowned for their bravery and courage.
“This program dashed the dreams of many young people in Punjab who aspired to join the armed forces as regular soldiers,” Mann said.
The scheme also has the propensity to weaken the armed forces’ longstanding esprit de corps, Mann said in proposing the resolution.
Lambasting the BJP-led center for this “whimsical” move, the CM challenged BJP leaders to enroll their own sons as Agniveers before backing this “anti-youth” move.
He said those advocating for the move should lead by example by sending their sons to the military first under the program.
“In this way they will get a new group of young Agniveers who will salute their leaders in their offices, after four years’ service,” Mann said.
Calling it an ‘illogical’ move that will ‘jeopardize’ national security, besides harming the fundamental spirit of the Indian military, Mann advised BJP leaders to stop building castles in the air to support this movement which is detrimental to the interests of the Indian army. country.
He said the project went against the ethos of a young person’s love and passion for their country and the armed forces. Asking BJP leaders to explain how the country will fight its infiltrators and enemies with a “hired army,” Mann warned them that the move “will prove fatal to the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the country in the times to come.
Citing examples of how the Indian Army has a glorious tradition of caring for the families of martyred soldiers, Mann also asked BJP leaders to explain that if a soldier, enlisted under the program, achieves martyrdom during the call of duty, then who will take care of their family as there is no such provision. Mann claimed that under this regime a soldier would not achieve martyr status.
Opposition leader and Congress legislator Partap Singh Bajwa demanded that the Agnipath program be withdrawn.
“I want to tell the central government not to play with fire,” Bajwa said, also referring to the three agricultural laws that were later repealed following opposition from farmers’ organizations.
Bajwa alleged that the Center developed the Agnipath program just to avoid paying pensions to soldiers.
“What is the need for such an experience?” Bawja asked.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali supported the resolution and demanded the cancellation of the program while adding that it has deceived young people who aspire to join the forces.
Has anyone opposed the resolution?
Two BJP MPs, Ashwani Sharma and Jangi Lal Mahajan, spoke out against the resolution in the 117-member assembly.
Sharma said there should be no politics on the issue related to the security of the country and also stressed the need to understand this pattern.
He said that this program is aimed at instilling discipline and patriotism in young people.
Protests against the regime
Protests erupted in various parts of the country, including Punjab, after the Center unveiled the Agnipath scheme to recruit young people between the ages of 17½ and 21 into the army, navy and army. air, largely on a four-year contract basis. . He then relaxed the upper age limit for this year’s recruitment to 23.
According Indian Expressthe Punjab agricultural unions had, on June 22, in response to a call launched by the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), organized demonstrations in 90 places against the project.
Later in the day, the farmers’ unions, along with members of Naujawan Bharat Sabha, also submitted memoranda addressed to the President of India through the Subdivision Magistrates (SDMs) and Deputy commissioners (DC) of their regions.
The memorandum states that only 46,000 will be appointed in the first year of the Agnipath program and a total of 2 lakh Agniveers will be appointed in the first four years, compared to 87,000 recruitments in 2020. All recruitments will be on “ All India All Classe” in place of the regiment-based regional community quota prevailing so far.
Jagmohan Singh Patiala, Secretary General of BKU-Dakaunda said Indian Express, “If you visit villages, normally landless, small or marginal farming families prepare for army recruitment rallies. They serve the nation and even feed the nation. But a four-year job will affect the rural sector. Our sons will be unemployed.
Dr. Darshan Pal, senior member of SKM, added: “We demand the withdrawal of the Agnipath program because Kisan and Jawan are linked. This program will directly affect the farmers because the majority of the sons of farmers work as jawans. Therefore, people rightly say Jai jawan, jai kisan. First the Three Farm Laws and now Agnipath, why are ordinary farmers targeted again and again? »
Mann follows through
Mann had told the Assembly on Tuesday that his government would introduce a resolution against the Agnipath program, saying the Center’s military recruitment initiative would destroy the fabric of the Indian army’s base.
On June 18, Mann had called for the cancellation of the Agnipath recruiting program for the Defense Services and said those who had passed the physical tests in the past two years should be given the chance to sit the written exams to join the army.
He claimed that this Agnipath scheme will “dilute” the combat ability of the soldiers. It will also render young people jobless after a four-year stint in the armed forces with no security for the future, Mann said.
It is ridiculous that over the past two years thousands of young people have passed the armed forces physical test but have not been called up for the written exams, he said in a statement. On the contrary, the central government, in a “fanciful” move, introduced the Agnipath scheme which allows short four-year service to young people in the armed forces without any pension, Mann said.
The Chief Minister of Punjab said, “It is a grave injustice to the youths of the country who want to serve their motherland by joining the Indian Army. He said the Union government should withdraw this program and allow young people, who had passed their physical test in the past two years, to take the written exam.
“It will give them a fair chance to join the armed forces.” “It is the need of the hour because this irrational movement [Agnipath scheme] has put the country in turmoil as young people from all nooks and crannies of India riot against this decision,” Mann said.
Punjab Chief Minister said: “This half-baked policy is nonsense. It will push the youth further into a vicious circle of unemployment and poverty which will be detrimental to the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the country. .”
Mann had also called on Friday for an immediate cancellation of the Agnipath program, calling it an insult to the military and a loss to the youth.
With contributions from agencies
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