A day after industry leaders backed the Centre's Agnipath scheme, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said they should "walk the talk" by first employing already retired soldiers.
Yadav, who is the leader of opposition in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, alleged that the scheme has been rolled out to train the youth to "secure" industrialists.
He also asked the ruling BJP to release a list of the supporters who will be sending their children to the armed forces under the initiative.
Yadav's remarks came a day after Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra, RPG Enterprises chairman Harsh Goenka and Biocon Ltd chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said the scheme has large potential for the employment of the youth in the corporate sector.
The Centre had last week announced its ambitious Agnipath scheme, triggering protests across the country.
Under the scheme, the youth aged between 17 and a half years and 21 will be recruited in the Army, Navy and Air Forced on a four-year short-term contractual basis. The youth recruited under the scheme will be known as "Agniveers".
Yadav said they will send the supporters of the scheme a list of retired soldiers for employment.
"We want to cooperate with those big people who are making promises of giving jobs to 'Agniveers' in their companies and offices in future," Yadav said in a tweet on Tuesday.
They should prove the veracity and seriousness of the promise by employing retired soldiers immediately in their companies so that "Agniveers" could trust them after four years of their service, Yadav said.
"Trust will be generated by 'karni" (action) and not by 'kathni' (statements)," he added.
In another tweet, Yadav said the BJP should also release a list of its members or supporters whose children will be opting for the scheme. "It is better to set an example than giving a lecture. The BJP should stop insulting the youth," he said.
In Kannauj, Yadav said not only the youth but the entire country is against the Agnipath scheme.
"The government is taking such a decision to save the budget but making an empire of industrialists," he said. He alleged that the youth will be prepared to "secure industrialists".
"Through this scheme, outsourcing is being started in the Army," he said, adding that the scheme is shattering dreams of sons of farmers.
He said by offering the youth temporary jobs, the honour of the Army has also been lowered.
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