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NDA allies call for review of Agnipath, JD(U) distances itself

NEW DELHI: NDA partners JD(U), led by Nitish Kumar, and Chirag Paswan’s LJP on Thursday articulated concern over the Agnipath scheme which was used by the opposition to attack govt over inadequate generation of jobs, though the former backpedalled on its comments saying they were twisted out of context.
JD(U) general secretary K C Tyagi was the first off the blocks, telling TV news channels that his party, which with 12 MPs may have an outsized role in the BJP-led coalition govt, will insist on a review of the Agnipath scheme under which 75% of recruits, the Agniveers, will be let go of after four years while the rest get to serve for another 15 years.

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LJP (Ram Vilas) chief Chirag Paswan, in response to a question, told NDTV that govt must revisit the Agnipath scheme to ascertain whether it had delivered the desired results. “If somebody has raised it, the NDA gives us that platform to sit and discuss. Yesterday (Wednesday), in the (NDA) meeting, my PM said on record that he is open to discussion. This platform is open and he is easily available for discussion of concerns and suggestions. If somebody feels or any party feels, I definitely believe that we must revisit that (Agnipath),” he said.

Paswan said the govt must carry out an assessment of how much could be delivered through this scheme as it directly concerned youngsters. “If it is beneficial and working for them as per the intention of the scheme and it is getting penetrated well, then we must continue. If not, then we should come up with suggestions of what can be done. But these things can be kept on hold for a while or till govt formation. So, immediately after that, we can sit and discuss all these things,” he said.

The comments were interpreted as muscle-flexing by allies whose strength has acquired disproportionate dimension because of BJP lacking its own majority, before Tyagi dialled back by saying that his comments to TV channels were edited out of context.
“What is said was in exact sync with the line articulated on several occasions by Rajnath Singh that the scheme is going to be reviewed periodically to look for