- Congress leader Manish Tewari did not sign the statement of 6 opposition MPs against Agneepath
- Sources said Tiwari has taken a stand contrary to his party’s stand.
- Congress termed Tiwari’s remarks as his personal views, which did not reflect the party’s stand.
Agnipath Protest: Congress leader Manish Tewari on Monday did not sign a statement of six opposition MPs demanding the withdrawal of the Agneepath scheme.
The Defense Advisory Committee meeting was held on Tuesday regarding the Agneepath plan. The meeting was attended by 5 NDA MPs and 7 opposition MPs.
Apart from the three army chiefs, Defense Secretary and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh were present on this occasion.
In the meeting, the opposition MPs demanded the government to withdraw the Agneepath recruitment scheme.
According to sources, 6 opposition MPs signed the memorandum given by the opposition to the government, but Congress MP Manish Tewari did not sign it.
Manish Tewari said that he is in favor of modernization of the army but there are some concerns about the Agneepath plan.
He raised questions related to pension in the meeting, as well as questioned the army officers about the purpose of bringing Agneepath.
But he did not sign the memorandum withdrawing the Agneepath scheme.
Manish Tewari has been a supporter of the new recruitment scheme till now.
Sources said Tiwari, who has publicly lauded the Agneepath scheme and termed it as a much-needed reform in the armed forces, has taken a stand contrary to the move taken by his party.
The Congress termed Tiwari’s remarks as his personal views which do not reflect the party’s stand.
The Congress has opposed the Agneepath recruitment scheme in the armed forces, Tewari said, adding that it is the need of the hour, as many other armies of other countries have also done something similar.
He also asked whether it undermines the operational readiness of the armed forces at the state-of-the-art level, sources said, with the army chief responding saying that operational readiness will not be compromised at any level.
Tiwari is of the view that such a measure for the “right size” of the armed forces is a much-needed improvement and has been accepted globally by many countries.
Sources said they also added that such a measure has been recommended by several standing committees on defense as well as other panels including the Kargil Review Committee, and various studies have also been done on reducing the size of the armed forces .
Sources reveal that Tiwari asked the Defense Minister whether the Agneepath plan was meant to give the armed forces the “right shape”, but the government reportedly did not agree that this was the purpose of bringing the plan.
Tiwari has been a member of the Congress’s G23 group, which called for organizational change and has been critical of some decisions of the party leadership.
He is a former Union Minister and currently a member of the Lok Sabha representing the Anandpur Sahib constituency in Punjab.
Handwritten notes by six opposition MPs – Shaktisinh Gohil, Rajni Patil (both Congress), Supriya Sule (NCP), Saugata Roy, Sudip Bandyopadhyay (both TMC) and AD Singh (RJD) were presented to Defense Minister Rajnath Singh. When he made a presentation to the members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Defence.
The government had made a presentation to the members of the panel, which was chaired by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and attended by the three service chiefs along with the defense secretary.