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IndiaWith people of Himachal opposing Agnipath, will PM commit to scrapping it:...

With people of Himachal opposing Agnipath, will PM commit to scrapping it: Congress


NEW DELHI, May 24: The Congress on Friday said the people of Pradesh have repeatedly voiced their opposition to the Agnipath scheme and asked if Prime Minister Narendra Modi will commit to scrapping the “ill-conceived” military recruitment programme.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh posed several questions to the prime minister ahead of his rallies in Himachal Pradesh.

“How much did the attempt to topple the state government cost the BJP? Will the outgoing prime minister commit to scrapping the Agnipath scheme? Why has the Modi sarkar not delivered on railway projects? Why did the outgoing prime minister not declare the July 2023 floods a calamity?” the Congress general secretary asked.

He also alleged that the BJP's blatant disregard for democratic values has been on full display in Himachal Pradesh.

The six MLAs who were disqualified from the assembly for selling out to the BJP during the Rajya Sabha elections have shamelessly been named as candidates for the seats they vacated, he said.

“Ten years into their rule, it has become clear that for the BJP, dirty is not the exception — it is the rule. From Goa to Sikkim, Maharashtra to Karnataka, and now Himachal Pradesh — no state is safe from their manipulations,” Ramesh said.

He alleged that the BJP has brazenly toppled or attempted to topple governments in every corner of the country using its “ill-gotten Electoral Bonds gains”.

Ramesh also asked how much the attempt to topple the Himachal Pradesh government cost.

“How much did each MLA get for defecting? The outgoing prime minister has proudly called the ‘Mother of Democracy'. Does he really think that Mother India would stand for his duplicity and deception?” Ramesh asked.

He said the people of Himachal Pradesh have repeatedly voiced their opposition to the Modi government's “ill-conceived” Agnipath scheme.

“Even if we ignore the unrealistic expectation of preparing young soldiers for battle within six months, how can we ignore the scheme's impact on their long-term job prospects? Where will young recruits go after spending four years of their prime in the army?” Ramesh asked.

He said the families have also raised issues about the lack of post-service benefits and provisions for the welfare of dependents in case of casualties during the four-year term of service.

“Most of the army jawan's financial and welfare benefits have been taken away under the scheme. Why has the Modi sarkar insisted on pushing this scheme through despite widespread protests?” he asked.

The Congress has promised to abolish the Agnipath programme and resume normal recruitment to the Armed Forces, Ramesh pointed out.

He also asked if the “outgoing prime minister” has any plans to reconsider his government's “ill-conceived scheme”.

The government rolled out the Agnipath recruitment scheme in June 2022 for short-term induction of personnel with an aim to bring down the age profile of the three services. It provides for recruiting youngsters between the age bracket of 17-and-half years and 21 for four years with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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