BJP MP Varun Gandhi fired a fresh salvo against the central government over its new Agnipath scheme for recruitment of defence personnel on a contractual basis. Gandhi questioned the government's plan to not include provisions for pension to the Agniveers.
The BJP MP wrote: Agniveers who would serve for a short term have no right to receive pension, then why has this 'convenience' been given to the public representatives? If people who are protecting the country are not entitled to receive pension, then I am ready to forego pension. How can we MLAs and MPs give up their pensions in order to make sure Avengers receive theirs? The Centre had unveiled this new short-term recruitment policy for Indian youths to serve in thearmed forces on June 14. The Agnipath scheme will allow youngsters aged 17.5 to 21 years to be inducted as ''Agniveers' into any of the three services for a period of four years. In every batch, 25 per cent of Agniveers will be selected for the permanent cadre in the armed forces and the remaining 75 percent will be relieved from duty without any gratuity or pension benefits.
After protests, the military leadership said there would be no rollback of the Agnipath scheme, adding that those who participated in protests and violence would not be recruited. Agniveers recruited through the scheme will be given preference in filling vacancies in police forces, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs at the Centre and several state governments.