‘Toolkit gang distorting my words’, says Kailash Vijayvargiya after facing flak for comment on Agniveers

‘Toolkit gang distorting my words’, says Kailash Vijayvargiya after facing flak for comment on Agniveers

‘Toolkit gang distorting my words’, says Kailash Vijayvargiya after facing flak for comment on Agniveers

After his comment on Agniveer drew widespread criticism on Sunday, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya issued a clarification and blamed the “toolkit gang” for distorting his words.

On the day, while addressing a press conference at the BJP office in Indore, Vijayvargiya said "In army training, first is discipline and second is following orders. He will undergo training and when he comes out after four years of service, he would have Rs 11 lakh in his hand. And he would also walk around with the badge of Agniveer on his chest."

He went on to say, "If I have to have security (personnel) here in this BJP office, I will give priority to Agniveer." The comment was met with swift criticism, including from his party MP Varun Gandhi.

“What I clearly meant was, "Agniveer who came out of the Agnipath Yojana will definitely be trained and committed to duty, his excellence will be utilised in whatever field he will go after completing his service in the army,” clarified Vijayvargiya, according to The Indian Express. “The nation is well aware of the conspiracies of this toolkit gang against the national heroes,” he added.

Reaction

Meanwhile, the Congress lost no time in slamming the BJP. Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi, "One cannot expect those who did not hoist the tricolour for 52 years of independence to respect soldiers."

"The youth have a zeal to join the army to protect the country and not for protecting BJP offices by becoming chowkidar," the former Congress chief said, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's silence was a "stamp of approval" on the insult.

Tagging a screenshot of a media report on Vijayvargiya's remarks, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, "Now we know what the BJP really meant when they launched the campaign in 2019, 'Main Bhi Chowkidaar'."

Party colleague Varun Gandhi tweeted in Hindi, saying "The great army, whose heroic tales a dictionary will fail to convey, whose valour is resonant in the whole world, an invitation to that Indian soldier to do 'chowkidari' of a political office, congratulations to the one who gave it. Indian Army is a medium of service to Mother Bharati, not just a 'job'."

On its officical Twitter handle, the Madhya Pradesh Congress said, "BJP general secretary insulting soldiers. Agniveer will become a watchman outside the BJP office. Mr. Modi, this was the mentality we were afraid of -- shameless government."

The government had last Tuesday announced the Agnipath scheme and those recruited under it will be called 'Agniveer'. The announcement has been met by widespread protest across the country.

With input from agencies

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