Didi: Agnipath a plan to create 'armed BJP goons'

KOLKATA: Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Monday dismissed the Agnipath scheme as a "project to create a BJP cadre of armed goons" by dangling "a four-year lollipop" in the name of Army jobs, triggering a walkout from the assembly by BJP MLAs chanting "Jai Shri Ram".

Mamata accused the Centre of insulting the armed forces through an alleged subterfuge of short-term commission. "What would the thousands of youth trained in handling firearms do after four years? They will help loot votes. They will guard (BJP) party offices," she said, alluding to BJP functionary Kailash Vijayvargiya's purported remark about giving preference to Agniveers if he wanted to hire security for his office.

Mamata said the objective of the scheme was "not Army training but arms training". She warned the scheme would produce nothing but a legion of unemployed youth who could "indulge in hooliganism to survive if they lose their jobs".