Highlights

  • New row over Agnipath scheme ensues
  • RJD, JD-U unite to attack Modi govt
  • Tejashwi: aspirants caste details to help RSS

Latest news

Salman Rushdie taken off ventilator, able to speak

Salman Rushdie taken off ventilator, able to speak

India yet to restore full ties, Taliban assures security to mission in Kabul

India yet to restore full ties, Taliban assures security to mission in Kabul

Steve Martin Birthday Special: All you need to know about the actor’s six-decade long career

Steve Martin Birthday Special: All you need to know about the actor’s six-decade long career

Salman Rushdie attack: suspect charged with murder, pleads not guilty

Salman Rushdie attack: suspect charged with murder, pleads not guilty

Independence Day 2022:  Must-play soundtracks to evoke the spirit of nationalism

Independence Day 2022: Must-play soundtracks to evoke the spirit of nationalism

Agnipath scheme: new row over caste of Agniveers explained

Even as the Centre tweaked the scheme to pacify the dissenters, a new controversy has erupted in with both ruling and oppositon leaders taking the government head on. 

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and his arch rival Lalu Prasad’s RJD, the principal opposition party, on Tuesday ended up on the same page in questioning the Centre on why aspiring ‘Agniveers’ were being asked to furnish religion and caste details.

JD(U) parliamentary board president Upendra Kushwaha came up with a couple of social media posts addressed to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in which he raised “fears of misuse” of such information, in a move that is likely to rankle ally BJP, which is still sore over the stance adopted by the JD(U) since the ‘Agnipath’ scheme was rolled out.

Moreover, Kushwaha’s views were echoed by Tejashwi Yadav, RJD president’s son and party heir apparent, who came out with tweets flaying the “Sangh-backed BJP government at the Centre”.

“‘Jaati na poochho sadhu ki lekin jaati poochho fauji ki’ (a holy man must not be asked about his caste, but it is okay to do so with respect to an Army man), said Yadav in his sarcastic tweet, wherein he also lambasted the BJP for “running away from a caste census”, referring to the Centre’s refusal to conduct the same, which has led the government in Bihar to carry out a headcount on its own resources.

The former Bihar deputy CM also alleged “Agniveers are being asked to disclose their caste so that the RSS, which is the most casteist organisation in the country, could get the candidates screened on the basis of their castes”.

The nuisance value of the allegation was not lost on the BJP, the political offshoot of the RSS, which has been trying hard to do away with the label of being “pro-upper caste” to gain more than a foot in the door of Bihar politics.

“In the armed forces, it is the norm to collect all personal details of candidates. It is nothing new and there is no need for creating any controversy,” state BJP spokesman Arvind Kumar Singh said in a statement.

Nonetheless, Yadav’s contention – “what is the need for seeking caste details when there are no quotas under Agnipath scheme” found a resonance with Kushwaha as well as former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, whose Hindustani Awam Morcha with its four MLAs has come to be seen as the JD(U)’s veritable B team.

“Agniveers are destined to get a lollipop by way of temporary employment in the armed forces. Why are they being asked to disclose their caste when there is no caste-based reservation under the new scheme of recruitment,” asked Manjhi, who has of late been nettling BJP with his plain-speak on issues ranging from social behaviour of Brahmins to historicity, or lack thereof, of Lord Rama.

Kushwaha, who was approached by journalists with queries, said “anything that has no good use can be misused and the same applies to seeking caste and religion details from Agniveers. I would wait till the defence minister comes up with his clarification”.

The JD(U) leader, who has come to be seen as ally BJP’s principal detractor in his party, also warned “if no explanations are forthcoming, then those levelling allegations will do so with a vengeance”.

Up Next

Agnipath scheme: new row over caste of Agniveers explained

Agnipath scheme: new row over caste of Agniveers explained

India yet to restore full ties, Taliban assures security to mission in Kabul

India yet to restore full ties, Taliban assures security to mission in Kabul

Ex-Gujarat minister Nitin Patel injured as cow hits him during 'Har Ghar Tiranga' rally

Ex-Gujarat minister Nitin Patel injured as cow hits him during 'Har Ghar Tiranga' rally

Jammu and Kashmir: four govt employees sacked for having 'terror links', 'anti-govt comments'

Jammu and Kashmir: four govt employees sacked for having 'terror links', 'anti-govt comments'

 Yati Narsinghanand under police scanner for calling for boycott of Centre's 'Har Ghar Tiranga' campaign

Yati Narsinghanand under police scanner for calling for boycott of Centre's 'Har Ghar Tiranga' campaign

Ex-minister defends Rajiv Gandhi govt's ban on Salman Rushdie's 'The Satanic Verses'

Ex-minister defends Rajiv Gandhi govt's ban on Salman Rushdie's 'The Satanic Verses'

More videos

Independence Day 2022: how and why August 15 was chosen as D-day for India

Independence Day 2022: how and why August 15 was chosen as D-day for India

Yamuna swells further in Delhi; evacuation efforts being intensified

Yamuna swells further in Delhi; evacuation efforts being intensified

Salman Khan to HC: videos uploaded by my neighbour communally provocative

Salman Khan to HC: videos uploaded by my neighbour communally provocative

BJP vs AAP: CWG medallist Divya Kakran’s claim over financial assistance stirs political tussle

BJP vs AAP: CWG medallist Divya Kakran’s claim over financial assistance stirs political tussle

Independence Day 2022: The changemakers of Independent India | India@75

Independence Day 2022: The changemakers of Independent India | India@75

Avoid unilateral action to change status-quo: India on Taiwan-China tensions

Avoid unilateral action to change status-quo: India on Taiwan-China tensions

GST on rent: Govt issues clarification, tenant families relieved

GST on rent: Govt issues clarification, tenant families relieved

Delhi: six arrested with over 2000 live cartridges ahead of Independence Day

Delhi: six arrested with over 2000 live cartridges ahead of Independence Day

SC extends demolition date for Super Tech's Noida twin towers till August 28

SC extends demolition date for Super Tech's Noida twin towers till August 28

Nitish Kumar: no ambition to be India's Prime Minister

Nitish Kumar: no ambition to be India's Prime Minister

Editorji Technologies Pvt. Ltd. © 2022 All Rights Reserved.