Army Doesn’t Want Agniveer, We’ll Throw It In Dustbin: Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi: The Agnipath scheme will be scrapped and thrown into the dustbin if the Opposition INDIA bloc unseats the BJP government and comes to power at the Centre, Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday.

Addressing his first election rally in Haryana for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress MP slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “turning Hindustan ke jawan into labourers,” reported PTI.

“This is Modi’s scheme, and not the Army’s scheme. The Army does not want it,” said Rahul referring to Agnipath, which was approved by the Union Cabinet in June 2022 for Indian youth to serve in the Armed Forces. Those selected under this scheme are called Agniveers.

“When the INDIA bloc forms government, we will throw the Agniveer scheme into the dustbin,” he stated at the rally held under Mahendragarh-Bhiwani Lok Sabha constituency.

He said India’s are secured by the country’s youth, and “there is patriotism in the DNA of our youth.”

Continuing his attack on the BJP government, Rahul said, “They say there will be two types of martyrs — one normal jawan and an officer who will get pension, martyr status, all facilities and, on the other hand, a person from a poor family who has been named Agniveer. Agniveers will neither get martyr status, no pension, no canteen facility.”

The Agnipath scheme was rolled out for short-term induction of Indians into the Armed Forces to bring down the age profile of the three services.

Under the scheme, youngsters in the age bracket of 17-and-half years to 21 years are recruited for a four-year period with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 years.

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