West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday alleged there is indirect pressure on her to appoint Agniveers on state government jobs after they complete four years of service in the armed forces under the Agnipath scheme.
According to her, such appeals have come to her from a section of the defence personnel. "Recently, I received a letter from a colonel on this count. He said that he will forward names of Agniveers from a panel which might be recruited in the state government," she said.
However, Banerjee asserted that under no circumstances, she would take any step in this regard."The youths from West Bengal are my priority in state government jobs. This is a dustbin created by the BJP. Why I will have to clean that? BJP will have to clean its own dustbin," she said while addressing a rally at the industrial township of Asansol in West Burdwan district.
Already some of the BJP-ruled states have announced that they will come out with special recruitment schemes in the state government to accommodate some of those Agniveers who will not be retained by the armed forces after four years.
Describing the Agnipath scheme as just an "eyewash" before the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the Chief Minister once again raised the demand for fixing the retirement age in armed forces to 60 years.She also claimed that the Agnipath scheme is just a ploy by the BJP to create its own force of armed cadres.
"Only four out of 100 recruits under the Agnipath scheme will be from common youths and the remaining recruits will be from the different wings of BJP," she alleged.Banerjee also said that in four years, only 60,000 youths will be recruited in two phases. "... This means that not even 1,000 people will be recruited from one state.
On one hand, the Union government is coming out with such eyewash schemes and on the other hand, it is abolishing 80,000 posts in the railways. All Central government undertakings have stopped fresh recruitments though several posts are lying vacant.
The Union government's only aim is to sell out these public sector undertakings," she alleged.