Agnipath: Cong throws its weight behind agitators; demands rollback

by IANS |

New Delhi, June 17 (IANS) Congress on Thursday extended its support to the youth agitating against the Centre's Agnipath scheme for the recruitment in armed forces but urged them to maintain peace and shun violence.

Addressing a press conference, party MP Deepender Hooda said: "Understanding their concerns, we extend our support to the youth's demands of withdrawal of the Agnipath scheme. But would also like to appeal to them to protest peacefully and demand its immediate rollback."

Noting that the scheme will demoralise the armed forces and weaken the regimental system, the Congress leader said that the Centre should refrain from carrying out such experiments when the country is already facing threats from China and Pakistan.

The party asked the government to roll back the policy.

However, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the recruitment into the military through the Agnipath scheme will begin shortly. He advised the aspirants to begin their preparations.

Terming the scheme a "golden opportunity" to join the nation's defence system and to serve the country, Singh thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allowing age waiver for the first batch to be recruited through the scheme.

His comment comes amid the protests which started in Bihar and spread to several other states. The protests against Agnipath continued for the third day in seven states, including the national capital.

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