Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann said that he has asked the civil administration to provide all support to the Army to conduct recruitment rallies
NEW DELHI: The Indian Army has no plan to suspend or shift recruitment rallies out of Punjab under the Agnipath scheme, said senior officials on Wednesday. In a statement, Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann said Wednesday that he has asked the civil administration to provide all support to the Army to conduct recruitment rallies in the state.
The clarification comes in wake of media reports that the local Army unit had written to the state administration threatening to transfer recruitment rallies out of the state due to non-cooperation by civil administration.
“All deputy commissioners were directed to provide complete support to the Army authorities for recruitment of Agniveers in Punjab. Any laxity shall be viewed seriously,” the Punjab CM said. Mr Mann said every effort will be made to recruit the maximum number of candidates into the Army from the state.
Indian Army officials said the recruitment of Agniveers as per the Agnipath scheme was progressing as per schedule for recruiting year 2022-23. “It is clarified that, specifically in the state of Punjab, recruitment rallies in Ludhiana and Gurdaspur have been successfully conducted with the full support of the civil administration. The registration and footfall of candidates were encouraging as per the trends of previous years,” Indian Army sources said.
They said that further rallies in Patiala (17-30 September), Ferozepur (1-16 November) and Jalandhar (21 November to 10 December), including women Agniveers, will also be held as scheduled in close coordination with the administration.
“It is reiterated there is no plan to shift recruitment rallies from Punjab to any other state(s),” the Army sources said.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had opposed the Agnipath scheme brought by the Central government and the Punjab Assembly had in June passed a resolution urging the Union government to immediately roll it back.
The Centre had on June 14 had unveiled a new radical recruitment policy for the armed forces dubbed “Agnipath” under which now all soldiers, sailors and airmen for the Army, Navy and Air Force will be hired on a short-term contract for four years to cut down pension bills.
After the completion of a four-year term, up to 25 per cent from a batch would be selected to serve as regular troops in the armed forces through a transparent process and the rest will be released from service after a lump-sum payment.
Several parts of the country saw violent protests against the scheme. A number of Opposition parties had criticised the scheme, contending it will adversely impact the operational capabilities of the armed forces.