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Will Give Priority to Agniveers While Hiring Security Guards Says BJP Leader, Draws Flak

After Kailash Vijayvargiya's comment was met with criticism, he alleged that the "toolkit gang" was twisting his words.

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New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kailash Vijayvargiya said his party would give priority to discharged Agniveers while hiring security guards at the party office, drawing flak from several politicians.

The BJP leader on Sunday, June 19 was criticised by the Opposition as well his own party MP Varun Gandhi for suggesting that he will give priority to ‘Agniveers’ for security jobs at the BJP’s office.

After his comment was met with criticism, Vijayvargiya alleged that the “toolkit gang” was twisting his words. He added that all he meant was that the “excellence of these soldiers will be utilised in whichever field they go to after completing their tenure”.

Also read: Bharat Bandh Against Agnipath Scheme Kicks Off, States Deploy Security Forces

Addressing a press conference at the BJP office in Indore on Sunday, Vijayvargiya made the remarks while defending the Union government’s Agnipath scheme on four-year contractual military recruitment that has sparked protests in many parts of the country and is being questioned by many parties.

“Discipline and obeying orders are key in the armed forces… Assuming that he (Agniveer) joins the armed forces at the age of 21, he will still be 25 by the time he leaves the force. He will have Rs 11 lakh cash in his hand. He will also be displaying the Agniveer medal on his chest,” he said.

“If I have to have a security (guard) here in this BJP office, I will give priority to an Agniveer,” he added.

His remarks were widely criticised by many on social media.

”Our great army’s heroic tales cannot be expressed with mere words, and its valour echoes in the entire world,” Varun Gandhi, the BJP MP from Pilibhit who has been expressing views divergent from the party’s stand, said. He accused the BJP national general secretary of offering the job of a chowkidar (watchman) to soldiers after retirement.

“Indian Army is a means to serve mother India, not merely a job,” Gandhi said.

Taking a swipe at Vijayvargiya, Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal said, “The youth of this country works hard to join the Army because they want to serve the nation, not to be a guard outside the BJP office later.”

(With PTI inputs)