Assembly Session: BJP is trying to create armed cadre base via Agnipath, says Bengal CM


CHIEF MINISTER Mamata Banerjee on Monday targeted the BJP-led central government over its Agnipath recruitment scheme, alleging that the saffron camp was trying to create its own “armed” cadre base through the new defence recruitment programme.

Terming the scheme as an “insult” to the armed forces, Banerjee also wondered whether the BJP plans to hire ‘Agniveer’ soldiers as “watchmen” at its party offices, after their four-year service period.

“The BJP is trying to create its own armed cadre base through this scheme. What will they do after four years? The party wants to give arms into the hands of the youth,” the TMC chairperson said in the Assembly.

Banerjee also said the BJP is trying to fool the masses ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls by announcing such schemes.
“They had promised two crore jobs every year. But, now they are only fooling the people of the country in the name of these schemes,” she added.

Mamata, who joined the ongoing Assembly session for the first time, said, “ “The four-year job in the Agnipath project is not an army job,” she said. She added, “The project was not announced by the Army. The Ministry of Home Affairs announced it. BJP wants to create cadre before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections in the name of four years of service [in the armed forces].”

BJP MLAs started protesting and after some time they walked out of the Assembly. Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari said, “The honourable Chief Minister claims that the BJP has provoked unrest. She also alleges that Agniveers will become BJP cadres. Our point is… it is she who has provoked unrest in the state. In spite of the violence [amid protests] in Nakashipara, Howrah, the situation was calm overall. We are walking out of the Assemby in protest against the CM’s remarks.

Meanwhile, despite a call for a ‘Bharat Bandh’ on Monday against the Centre’s Agnipath recruitment scheme, the situation remained normal in the state. The state government had deployed police at key locations to prevent any untoward incident.

Police were also deployed outside offices of state government and central government buildings to provide security in case a protest broke out. The Kolkata Police have identified over 100 places in and around the city where additional forces will be kept to prevent such protests.





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