Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday informed the Assembly that the state will soon bring a resolution in the House to oppose the Centre’s Agnipath scheme regarding the defence recruitment.
Also, he said, a resolution on condemning the ban on Sidhu Moosewala’s new song, SYL, on YouTube.
“Agnipath is a whimsical and irrational move of the NDA government which will destroy the basic fabric of the Indian Army,” said the chief minister, while replying to issue raised by Leader of Opposition and Congress member Partap Singh Bajwa during Zero hour.
However, BJP member Ashwani Sharma opposed the move.
The Chief Minister said this is another illogical move by the NDA government to ruin the future of the youth. He said no one, except BJP leaders, have ever understood the merits of schemes like demonetisation, the Goods and Service Tax (GST) and the draconian farm laws.
“Agnipath is an addition to such baseless moves, which no one is able to understand,” he said.
Mann said it is unfortunate and unbelievable that a person will join the Indian Army after attaining age of 17 years and superannuate merely after four years at 21.
The Chief Minister said ironically the person who will be serving the country at the prime of his youth will not get any pension or other benefits for it. Mann said this is a huge loss for the youth of the country who want to serve their motherland, either in freezing cold or boiling hot temperature, by joining the armed forces on basis of their physical ability.
He said Agnipath reflects the sorry state of affairs in the country as the party in power at the Centre is recklessly running its affairs without applying mind.
Congress leader Bajwa said 20 per cent of Punjab’s youths were recruited by the defence forces in the past, then it was made population-based and 7.8 per cent of recruitment was being done from the state.
With the Agnipath scheme, it would come down to 2.3 per cent, he said. “We should bring a joint resolution to oppose it,” added Bajwa.
There were heated arguments between the treasury benches over the issue.
BJP leader Ashwani Sharma opposed the demand. He asked AAP leader Mann not to be taken in by the Congress, saying when a 17-year-old will be recruited, he will get an educational qualification and skill development training.
Congress member Sukhpal Khaira demanded the ban against Sidhu Moosewala’s latest song SYL from YouTube over the BJP-led Centre’s complaint must also be condemned and made a part of the resolution against the Agnipath scheme.
Mann seconded it and said another resolution condemning the ban on Moosewala’s new song would also be brought in the House.
A resolution condemning the centralisation of Panjab University would also be brought in the House, added Mann.