Agnipath: "Strike first, think later" not appropriate, says Varun Gandhitext_fields
New Delhi: "Striking first and thinking later" is not appropriate for a sensible government when it comes to armed forces, security and youth's future, BJP MP Varun Gandhi criticised the Centre on Saturday on the burning Agnipath issue.
He said that the policy was not framed considering its various dimensions, which is evident from the sudden changes brought to it after the heavy uproar, PTI reported.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh police arrested at least 250 people on Saturday regarding the vandalism committed by protesting aspirants there. Bihar, which also witnessed severe unrest, also made some arrests.
What infuriated the aspirants more was the clause in the programme that 75 per cent of the recruits will serve only for four years and will not enjoy benefits like regular soldiers. To dampen the uproar, the government raised the upper age limit to 23 years and offered priority in some government jobs for Agniveers.
On Saturday, Lieutenant General Anil Puri, one of those behind the "Agnipath" programme, asserted that "arsonists" have no place in the armed forces. "We do not stand for arson. These people [protesters] have no place with us. There is not an iota of indiscipline [in the armed forces]," NDTV quoted Lt Gen Puri.
Lt. General Puri, the Additional Secretary in the Department of Military Affairs, claimed that the protests came from bitterness among a meagre section of military aspirants who were preparing for entering service in the last two years, which was affected by the pandemic, "and not against the 'Agnipath' programme itself", NDTV quoted.