Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said that just as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to withdraw the farm laws, he will have to accept the demand of the youth and rollback the Agnipath defence recruitment scheme.
The former Congress chief also said that for eight consecutive years, the BJP government has “insulted” the values of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’.
A man was shot dead in police firing in Telangana’s Secunderabad, trains went up in flames, and public and private vehicles were attacked, as railway stations and highways turned into battlegrounds in many states on Friday amid burgeoning protests against Agnipath.
In a tweet in Hindi, Gandhi said, “I had said earlier also that the prime minister will have to withdraw the black farm laws.” “In the same manner, he will have to accept the demand of the youth of the country by becoming ‘maafiveer’ and take back the ‘Agnipath’ scheme,” he said.
Unveiling the scheme on Tuesday, the government said youths between the ages of 17-and-a-half and 21 years would be inducted for a four-year tenure while 25 per cent of the recruits will be retained for regular service.
The upper age limit was raised to 23 years on Thursday as the protests against the new model for enrolment of soldiers into the Army, Navy and Air Force spread.
The new scheme for the recruitment of soldiers in the three services was projected by the government as a major overhaul of the decades-old selection process to enhance the youthful profile of the three services.