Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Amid frequent allegations by the state unit of the Congress that both BJD and BJP are two sides of the same coin, the ruling party in Odisha has given its thumbs up to the Centre’s Agnipath scheme.

Minister of State Tusharkanti Behera on Tuesday termed the scheme as brilliant. The development came amid speculation that BJD will extend its support to the Presidential candidate selected by NDA.

Behera’s statement came when protests were witnessed in some parts of Odisha against the scheme with the State Congress demanding a roll back and the BJP releasing a video for youths, explaining the merits of the Agnipath scheme.

As per Behera, the Agnipath scheme is brilliant as it gives an opportunity to the youth to work directly for protecting the country. But, it would work better if the Agniveers are mandatorily given preferences in jobs and this should be clearly mentioned in the recruitment rules in case of government jobs.

“Generally after passing 10th and 12th class examination, the youth prepare for military jobs. Agnipath scheme is a very good opportunity for them. They will also be given preferences in other sectors in the job market after retiring from service as an Agniveer,” said Behera.

However, the Minister said that no decision has been taken by the State government yet to give preferences to Agniveers in Odisha police.

“Generally NCC candidates are given preferences in Odisha police. A decision regarding extending preferences to the Agniveers in Odisha police will be taken soon,” said Behera.