Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], June 27 (ANI): Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president and Congress MP A Revanth Reddy strongly criticised the Central government over the Agnipath military recruitment scheme and demanded its immediate rollback.
Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan here on Sunday, Revanth Reddy said, "In the Agnipath system, Army jawans with four years of service will be discharged from the service and how they will survive. The scheme will create new problems for India's national security without solving its existing ones. Safety of India is under threat."
Using derogatory remarks against BJP legislators for passing bills callously without looking at them, Reddy said, "You (BJP) have donkeys over 300 in Lok Sabha and you will keep them to pass the bills with a closed eye. You have to roll back this scheme (Agnipath) and we will make to bow you down. You should apologise to the people. You can't run anywhere."
"I would like to remind PM Narendra Modi when you brought Kaala Kanoon (black bill). These 300 donkeys were in support of you. Lakhs of farmers agitated for 16 months and they didn't let you go forward. Remember that!," he said.
The Congress MP said the Modi government is attempting to mislead the nation's youth by changing the recruitment policies for all three branches of the armed forces and by restricting enlistment to four years.
On June 17, the three chiefs of Indian Defence services hailed the decision of the Central government to approve the Agnipath Scheme, a recruitment process for Indian youth to serve in the Armed Forces.
"The Government has announced Agnipath scheme under which youth will be able to join armed forces. The age criteria will be 17.5 to 21 years. Happy to announce that for the first recruitment, the upper age limit has been revised to 23 years. It will benefit the youth. Air Force recruitment will begin on June 24," the Indian Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari said in a virtual address on Friday.
Agnipath Scheme, which was approved by the cabinet on June 14, was launched in an effort to bring a change in the recruitment process of the Armed Forces. With the new military recruitment scheme facing criticism, the Centre has decided to bring a change in the upper age limit for recruiting Agniveers.
Granting a one-time waiver, the Centre on June 16, 2022, announced that the Agniveer upper age limit for recruitments via Agnipath Scheme has been extended to 23 years from 21 years.
Indian Air Force also appreciated the government for increasing the upper age limit to 23 from 21 for recruitment under the Agnipath scheme for the year 2022.
COVID-19 halted the Army's recruitment for over two years. In 2019-2020, the Army recruited jawans and there has been no entry since then. On the other hand, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force had both recruited in the last two years respectively.
The Ministry of Defence, in its statement in June 2022, said that the Agnipath scheme has been designed to enable a youthful profile of the Armed Forces. It will provide an opportunity to the youth who may be keen to don the uniform by attracting young talent from the society who are more in tune with contemporary technological trends and plough back skilled, disciplined and motivated manpower into the society. (ANI)