Amid raging protests against the Centre's Agnipath scheme, the AAP on Sunday dubbed it "a big fraud" with the country's youth and demanded its rollback, alleging that the Narendra Modi government is making misleading claims about the benefits of the new military recruitment plan.
At a press conference, AAP Rajya Sabha MP and spokesperson Sanjay Singh presented representatives of about 4,000 job aspirants who claimed to have cleared all the tests conducted for recruitment into paramilitary forces in 2018 but were yet to get their appointment letters.
"Remember these faces sitting with me whom Modi ji did not give job till date despite they having cleared the physical, written and medical tests conducted for filling up 60,000 vacancies in paramilitary forces in 2018, he said.
They have been agitating for over one year, sat on a fast-unto-death agitation at Samvidhan Chowk in Nagpur for 72 days and marched to Delhi on foot from Nagpur 19 days ago demanding that they be given their appointment letters, he said.
"When you (Centre) could not recruit these youths despite them clearing all the stages of the tests, how will you give jobs to Agniveers after they complete their four years of service? This shows how you are fooling, deceiving the country's youth," the AAP MP charged.
Singh dismissed as misleading the Centre's claim that 25 per cent of those to be recruited under the Agnipath scheme will be absorbed in the armed forces after completion of their four years of service, saying not all of them would be retained.
"After completion of four years, all the Agniveers will be moved out and they will have to apply again seeking their retention. The scheme says up to 25 per cent, not 25 per cent, of Agniveers will be retained as per the available vacancies. The actual percentage of those to be retained under the scheme may drop to even 2 per cent, he claimed.
Besides, the Agniveers will not get "martyr status", neither will they be entitled to pension, canteen and other facilities.
"It takes at least a year of training to make a soldier battle ready but the prime minister is ready to compromise with their military capabilities by giving them only six months of training, he charged.
He said the central government claims that Agniveers will get priority in other jobs, but the reality is that only two per cent of ex-servicemen get jobs.
The AAP MP also dismissed the government's proposal to provide Rs 10-12 lakh to the Agniveers on completion of four years of their service as a sham, saying that about Rs 5 lakh of this amount to be given to them will come from their own salary as a certain part of their customized pay package will be deducted towards Agniveer corpus fund every year.
"Agnipath scheme is a big fraud with the youth of the country and a move towards compromising with the bravery of the Indian armed forces, he alleged.
It takes at least a year of training to make a soldier battle ready but Prime Minister Narendra Modi is ready to compromise with the country's military capabilities by giving those to be recruited under the scheme only six months of training, he charged.
Singh said the BJP chief ministers, MPs and MLAs who are defending the scheme by listing its benefits should send their kin to become Agniveers first.
"When they will lead a life of despair after four years, you (BJP leaders) will come to know the reality of this scheme, he added.
Demanding the scheme's rollback, the AAP MP hit out at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and asked him to come out of his cave and break his silence in the face of nationwide outrage over the scheme.
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