Punjab CM approves Cong leader Bajwa's suggestion against 'Agnipath'

CHANDIGARH:  Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on  Tuesday agreed with Opposition Leader Partap Singh Bajwa's suggestion to introduce a resolution against the "Agnipath" programme for military recruiting.

Senior Congress lawmaker Bajwa brought up the topic of Agnipath' during the zero hours of the ongoing budget session in the Vidhan Sabha, claiming the scheme will "negatively" affect the young of Punjab.

Bajwa expressed concern that the plan will cause Punjab's participation in the Army to drop from 7.8% to 2.3% in the future. In the assembly session, Bajwa declared, "This scheme is against the interests of Punjab." He urged that the CM introduce a joint resolution denouncing the Agnipath project during the current assembly session.

Mann referred to the situation as an "emotive issue" and endorsed Bajwa's recommendation that all state assemblies in the nation bring a resolution opposing the plan. Mann responded to Bajwa's suggestion, "I am against this and I agree with you," and added that it will be taken into consideration. Mann also challenged the government of India on the three farm laws (now repealed)demonetisation, and the goods and services tax.

"When we think about the idea that a 17-year-old youth would enter the defence forces, and most of them will return after simply four years of service," Mann said in reference to the Agnipath programme. Within four years, they will no longer be eligible for any benefits to which ex-servicemen are entitled. I categorically oppose this plan, he said.

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