Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said that just as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to withdraw the controversial agriculture laws, he will have to accept the demand of the youth and withdraw the ‘Agneepath’ defense recruitment scheme. The former Congress president also said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has been “insulting” the values of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ for eight consecutive years.
Violence was witnessed at highways and railway stations in some states on Friday amid protests against the ‘Agneepath’ scheme. One person was killed in police firing in Telangana’s Secunderabad, while trains were torched and private and public vehicles vandalized in some cities. Rahul tweeted, “For eight years, the BJP government has continuously insulted the values of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’. I had said earlier also that the Prime Minister will have to withdraw the Black Agriculture Act. In the same way, he will have to obey the youth of the country by becoming ‘Mafiveer’ and ‘Agneepath’ will have to be taken back.’
Launching this scheme on Tuesday, the government had said that youth in the age group of 17-and-a-half to 21 years would be recruited into the Army, Air Force and Navy for a tenure of four years on contract basis. The government had said that 25 per cent of the jawans would be retained for regular service based on defense requirements. The upper age limit for recruitment was raised to 23 years on Thursday in view of mounting protests over the ‘Agneepath’ scheme. The new recruitment scheme has been introduced by the government as a major change in the decades-old selection process to increase the number of youth in the three services.