Congress’s Kharge on Agnipath: ‘For 1st time, service chiefs being fronted…’

Congress's Kharge on Agnipath: 'For 1st time, service chiefs being fronted…'

Agnipath protests: The Congress has been staging demonstrations over the scheme in several parts. 

Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge slammed the Modi government on Monday a day after service chiefs – at a press briefing – announced that the Agnipath scheme won’t be rolled back. The announcement came as several states in the country continue to witness protests over the new military scheme that aims to recruit youth in the 17-21 age group, who would be retired after the four-year service.

“For the first time in 75 years, service chiefs are being fronted to defend a policy decision by the government. Why are the Prime Minister, Home Minister and Defence Minister quiet on the Agnipath scheme? (sic),” Kharge tweeted.

On Sunday, the service chiefs also sent out a warning to the demonstrators. “Every individual who wants to join the armed forces through the Agnipath scheme will have to submit a pledge that they were neither part of any protest nor were involved in any violence. Nobody can join the forces without police verification… We have made the provisions,” said Lt General Anil Puri, the additional secretary of the department of military affairs.

“The foundation of the Indian armed forces is discipline. There is no space for arson. There is no problem if you show your anger and engage in talks. But there is no space for arson and vandalism.”

Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah on Saturday had announced reservations in home and defence ministry for the recruits of the scheme.

The new plan aims to bring down the average age in the armed forces, the government has underlined.

However, the opposition has been attacking the government amid agitations. Earlier, Hyderabad MP and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi had made similar attacks on the centre. “Please Stop hiding behind military chiefs Mr Modi. Have the guts to take ownership of your reckless decision and face the consequences. The anger of the youth of the country about their future is directed you and only you. (sic),” he had tweeted.

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