In a Blow to Congress, MP Manish Tewari Refuses to Sign Letter Protesting Against Scheme

The Congress was in for a big embarrassment on Monday after senior leader Manish Tewari refused to sign an opposition memorandum protesting against the Centre’s new Agnipath military recruitment scheme.

Six opposition members – Professor Saugata Roy (TMC), Sudip Bandyopadhyay (TMC), Supriya Sule (NCP), Shaktisinh Gohil (Congress), AD Singh (RJD), Rajni Patil (Congress) – signed the memorandum that was submitted to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

Sources said Congress MP Manish Tewari did not sign the memorandum addressed to Singh who was briefing the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Defence about the scheme. Singh was giving a presentation to the committee during which some opposition MPs demanded an immediate withdrawal of the scheme.

The nearly two-hour meeting was addressed by the defence minister and the three chiefs of the armed forces. Opposition MPs, including those from the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Trinamool Congress, raised objections to the new recruitment scheme and said it should be rolled back.

The presentation was aimed at addressing the concerns of the opposition leaders ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, starting July 18.

Not the first time

This isn’t the first instance of Tewari backing the Agnipath scheme because last month too, the senior Congress leader said he felt that India “needs younger armed forces” – thus diverging from the party’s official stance on the scheme.

Expressing his view on the issue, the Congress MP from Anandpur Sahib had said on Twitter, “I do empathise with youth who have concerns over Agnipath recruitment process. Reality is India needs a younger armed force with lighter human footprint savvy on technology, equipped with state of art weaponry. Armed forces of Union shouldn’t be an employment guarantee programme.”

Tewari said there was a need for a younger armed forces as modern-day warfare had become more technologically advanced. The MP said the army must have a “lighter footprint”.

The Congress had at the time distanced itself from Tewari’s endorsement of the Agnipath scheme. Asserting that the party will oppose the scheme with all its might, Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh had said: “Manish Tewari, INC MP, has written an article on Agnipath. While @INCIndia is the only democratic party, it must be said his views are entirely his own & not of the party, which firmly believes Agnipath is anti-national security & anti-youth, bulldozed through without discussion.”

Agnipath scheme, which was unveiled last month, sparked countrywide protests during which trains were set on fire, and public properties vandalised by defence job aspirants. The opposition parties had backed the protests and demanded a rollback.

The Centre sought to downplay the concerns of the armed forces aspirants and issued a ‘Myth vs Facts’ document to address their queries. A series of social media posts by the Centre stated that in the coming years, recruitment of ‘Agniveers’ will be around triple the current recruitment in the armed forces and also ruled out any change to the regimental system.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) recently said it has received around 7.5 lakh applications under the scheme. The registration process began on June 24.

(With PTI inputs)

Read all the Latest News, Breaking News, watch Top Videos and Live TV here.

Source link

Share post -

Live COVID-19 statistics for
Last updated: 7 minutes ago

यह वेबसाइट कुकीज़ या इसी तरह की तकनीकों का इस्तेमाल करती है, ताकि आपके ब्राउजिंग अनुभव को बेहतर बनाया जा सके और व्यक्तिगतर तौर पर इसकी सिफारिश करती है. हमारी वेबसाइट के लगातार इस्तेमाल के लिए आप हमारी प्राइवेसी पॉलिसी से सहमत हों.