'Congress is with you': Sonia Gandhi asks Agnipath protestors to adopt non-violent approach

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on 18 June wrote a letter to the youth of the country announcing that the Indian National Congress stands with them.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  19 Jun 2022 3:25 AM GMT
Congress is with you: Sonia Gandhi asks Agnipath protestors to adopt non-violent approach

Hyderabad: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on 18 June wrote a letter to the youth of the country announcing that the Indian National Congress stands with them.

"My dear young friends, you aspire to join the Indian Army and do an important job of service to the nation. I can understand the pain of not being recruited for the last 3 years despite having lakhs of vacant posts in the Army. I also have full sympathy with the youth who are waiting for the results and appointments after giving the recruitment examination in the Air Force. I am sad that the government has announced the new Army recruitment scheme ignoring your voice, which is completely directionless. Along with you, many ex-servicemen and defense experts have also raised questions on this plan," read the letter.

She asked the youth to raise their voice in a non-violent manner. "Indian National Congress stands firmly with you and promises to protect your interests and fight to get this scheme back. Like a true patriot, we will raise your voice in front of the government by following the path of truth, non-violence, restraint and peace. I also request you to agitate for your legitimate demands in a peaceful and non-violent manner. Indian National Congress is with you," she wrote.

'Roll back the scheme immediately'

Besides Sonia Gandhi, several leaders from the Opposition parties expressed their opinion about Agnipath and the protests happening across the country.

Aam Aadmi Party MP from Punjab Raghav Chadha said, "The Agnipath scheme robs the jawans of their job security, making it harder for them to stay motivated. It also overlooks the need for adequate training as it lets Agniveers take a six-month crash course. The scheme should be rolled back immediately."

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadera asked the Centre to withdraw the scheme immediately. She said, "In the eyes of the youth preparing for Army recruitment, there are many dreams of country service, parental service, family and future. What will the new Army recruitment scheme give them? After four years, no job guarantee, no pension facility, no rank, and no pension. Narendra Modi, don't crush the dreams of the youth."

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao expressed condolences to the bereaved family members of Rakesh who lost his life "to the wicked policies of the Union government." He said Rakesh was the victim of wrong policies adopted by the Union government.

TRS working president KTR on Friday asked the Union government to reconsider the Agnipath scheme. He said the Centre was responsible for the outrage across the country and that it was all because of the Centre taking unilateral decisions without any discussions. He said, "In this country where Jai Jawan-Jai Kisan has been slandered, the Centre, which till now had been a gossip center for farmers with black farmer laws, is now pushing the jawans into exile with this policy."

KTR also criticised the Army for downgrading from "One rank, One pension" to "No rank, No pension."

'Agnipath is a well-thought-out scheme'

Meanwhile, S. Jaishankar, external affairs minister, said the Modi government's Agnipath scheme is an opportunity for India's youth to join the defence forces and serve the nation. Further, appreciating the government for increasing the age limit from 21 to 23 years, he said, "PM Narendra Modi's decision to increase the age limit for Agniveers shows sensitivity towards those whose dreams were impacted due to the COVID pandemic."

BJP national spokesman Guru Prakash Paswan said, "Agnipath won't be rolled back. It's a well-thought-out scheme. These protests are not reflective of the entire youth's mood."

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