The Agnipath scheme for defence recruitment, which had triggered protests in many states and has faced criticism from the Opposition, was “appreciated”, along with other “job creating initiatives “of the Narendra Modi government, at the BJP national executive meeting on Saturday, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.
Briefing the media on the resolution passed on the government’s “gareeb kalyan programmes and the economy”, Pradhan said welfare initiatives for the poor is the most significant outcome of the eight years of governance by the Modi administration. It has become a “global model”, he added.
The resolution, moved by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and seconded by Union minister Piyush Goyal and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, rejected the Opposition’s charges on inflation and job crisis in the country.
In the meeting, attended by more than 300 BJP leaders from across the country, the government was appreciated for steps it has taken to create jobs. “In the coming years, we will create 10 lakh jobs in the government sector,” Pradhan said. “Agnipath has been appreciated, job creation efforts have been appreciated. Implementation of the Gati Shakti will also help create jobs.”
“Exports are also going up in the global services sector and in the mineral and metal sector export,” he added.
The government’s recent announcement of Agnipath scheme — under which youths between 17-and-a-half and 21 years would be inducted into the armed forces for a four year tenure, and 25 per cent of them will be taken in regular service — had led to protests, at times violent, in several states.
Pradhan reasoned that the unprecedented crisis in the economy is not limited to India. The pandemic, global crude oil prices and the war in Ukraine have left the prices skyrocketing, he said. But the government, he stressed, has managed the situation well.
Pointing out that the Budget has made the highest allocation for public spending, Pradhan said capital spending during the pandemic was the highest ever. “All these are linked to job creation,” he noted. “If there was an acute crisis (in the job sector), social harmony would have been disrupted. The government has created jobs and is taking care of the poor.”
The minister also said the “legacy” this government inherited from the UPA dispensation should not be forgotten.
In its condolence resolution meant to pay tribute to its leaders, the BJP on Saturday mentioned Udaipur tailor Kanhaiya Lal and Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala, who were killed recently, sources said.
While the BJP mentioned Lal, who was hacked to death by two assailants who put out a video of the crime online, the party refused to make any comment on the Udaipur incident.
Asked whether the party would discuss Lal’s killing, BJP national vice-president and former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje said that the conclave would discuss “every important political development in the country”.
The condolence message, read by BJP general secretary Dilip Saikia, also mentioned several dignitaries and BJP leaders and Army personnel who died in a landslide in Manipur.
Days before his killing, Lal had sought protection from local police, saying that he had received threats over a social media post shared from his account, purportedly “supporting” suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma’s remarks on the Prophet.
Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, also known as Sidhu Moosewala, was shot dead in Punjab’s Mansa district on May 29, a day after the AAP government in Punjab pruned the security cover of the singer and 423 people temporarily.