Punjab Assembly passes resolution against Agnipath scheme

Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa had sought an all-party resolution on the issue. He had also written to the CM seeking a resolution against the Agnipath scheme

Representative photo
Representative photo
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Bipin Bhardwaj

The Punjab Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution recommending to the state government that it urge the Union government to withdraw the ‘Agnipath’ scheme immediately.

The resolution was passed amidst strong opposition by the BJP MLAs in the house.

While moving the resolution against the scheme, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said it is a matter impacting national security.

The CM said it is impractical that those undergoing training would study at the same time. He asked the BJP “not to mislead” the people.

He also wanted to know about the status of an Agniveer who dies while fighting on the front or on duty.

On Tuesday, Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa had sought an all-party resolution on the issue.

Bajwa had also written to the CM seeking a resolution against the Agnipath scheme.

He had termed it a part of a “deep-rooted conspiracy” that would bring down recruitment of Punjab youths in the armed forces from present 7.8 per cent to 2.3 per cent. He said it would have dangerous implications as the trained youngsters recruited under the Agnipath scheme would join anti-national gangs once they leave service.

While supporting the resolution, Bajwa said the Agnipath scheme is fraught with danger as we are surrounded with hostile neighbours, China and Pakistan. He said a majority of the retired Army officers are opposing the scheme.

Opposing the resolution, BJP MLA Ashwani Sharma claimed that the opposition was doing politics on the issue which is linked to the nation’s security. “The scheme is being wrongly interpreted. It is rather aimed at instilling discipline, skilling and patriotism in the youth,” he said, adding that there was a need to understand the scheme.

Senior Akali leader Manpreet Ayali also supported the resolution passed in the house against the ‘Agnipath’ scheme.

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