Controversies surrounding the new Agnipath recruitment scheme of the Union Government for the three services of the Indian Armed Forces do not seem to end, with the Opposition now questioning the Narendra Modi government about the need to submit Caste and religious certificates for the recruitment of Agniveers (soldiers recruited under the Agnipath scheme).
In a recent notification put out by the Army for an Agnipath recruitment rally, it was mentioned that candidates are required to bring their Caste and Religion Certificates as well, along with other documents such as educational certificates, Relationship certificates, Domicile certificates and so on.
Following this, various Opposition leaders like Sanjay Singh of the AAP, Upendra Kushwaha of the JDU and RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav questioned the need for the submission of Caste and religious certificates and also demanded a clarification from the Union Government regarding the same.
While sharing the notification of the recruitment rally, Sanjay Singh said that the real face of the Modi government has now been exposed to the country. “Does Modi ji not consider dalits/backward/tribals eligible for army recruitment? For the first time in the history of India, caste is being asked in “Army Recruitment,” said Singh in his tweet.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav also slammed the BJP-led Union Government by stating that Agniveers will be sorted out and filtered based on their Caste. “The BJP Government runs away from Caste census but asks for the Caste of Agniveer brothers who are risking their lives for the country,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, responding to the allegations, the Army clarified that even in the past, candidates were required to submit their caste certificates and if required, their religious certificates as well. “Religion is also required for performing last rites as per religious rituals for recruits who die during training and soldiers who die in harness,” said Army officials.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh responded to allegations by the Opposition that caste and religion certificates are now being asked for the Agnipath scheme and that this is just a rumour. “The earlier system, existing since the pre-independence era, is going on. No change has been made. The old system is being continued/”