Agnipath scheme ‘insult’ to youth, says Rahul


Rahul Gandhi pledged to revoke the scheme, if elected to power, and advocated for the reinstatement of the previous permanent recruitment process….reports Asian Lite News

In a scathing critique of the Modi government’s Agnipath military recruitment initiative, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged that the scheme originated in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office and was forced upon the armed forces.

Gandhi pledged to revoke the scheme upon the formation of an INDIA bloc government, advocating for the reinstatement of the previous permanent recruitment process.

Emphasising that the Agnipath scheme undermines the valour of the Indian Army and aspiring youth, Gandhi declared it as a product of Modi’s office, not the military itself.

He underscored the principle of equal treatment for martyrs and vowed swift action to revert to the original recruitment protocol.

Launched in June 2022, the Agnipath scheme aimed to lower the age demographic within the armed forces, permitting the short-term enlistment of individuals aged 17 and a half to 21 for a four-year term, with a provision to extend 25 percent for an additional 15 years.

Meanwhile, calling the electoral bonds the “biggest haftebaazi” scheme, Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday questioned as to why the names of donors were kept hidden by the ruling BJP government if the scheme was meant to ensure transparency in the election process.

“This (electoral bonds) is Narendra Modi’s master scheme. The whole idea was his. He said the electoral bonds were launched to bring transparency in politics. Then, why were the names kept hidden? Who was stopping the release of data after the Supreme Court asked? This is extortion. On street level, it is known as ‘haftebazi’. This is the country’s biggest ‘haftebaazi’ scheme conceptualised by the Prime Minister,” Rahul Gandhi told reporters in Kozhikode.

The remarks of the Wayanad MP came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an interview with ANI, said that the electoral bond scheme was aimed at curbing black money in elections and said the opposition wants to run away after making allegations. PM Modi said that “everyone will regret it when there is an honest reflection.”

“This is the success story of electoral bonds, there were electoral bonds, so you are getting a trail which company gave, how it gave, and where it gave. Whether what happened in the process was good or bad can be an issue of debate….I never say that there is no shortcoming in decision-making. We learn after discussing and improving. There is a lot of scope for improvement in this as well. But today we have completely pushed the country towards black money, hence, I say everyone will regret it. When they think honestly, everyone will regret it,” PM Modi said.

Earlier today, Rahul Gandhi also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a roadshow in Kozhikode over the electoral bond scheme and said that he is trying to defend the biggest corruption scandal.

Addressing the public at a roadshow in Kozhikode, Rahul Gandhi said, “I don’t know if you saw his interview with ANI yesterday. I don’t know if you saw his face, his eyes, he was trying to defend the biggest corruption scandal on the planet through which BJP has got thousands of crores of rupees by extorting them from India’s businessmen.”

The Supreme Court in February this year struck down the electoral bond scheme and said it was unconstitutional.

During his roadshow in Mallapuram, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi also appealed people to read his party’s manifesto.

“We have a strategy for employment, for farmers, for labourers, for women, and for young men. The BJP has also promised a few things- they have two main ideas. One is to bring the Olympic Games to India, and the second is to send someone to the moon. Of course, they will use a rocket that ISRO made, which was founded, supported, and developed by the Congress party,” he said.

Kerala’s 20 constituencies go to the polls on April 26 in the second phase of the Lok Sabha election.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, while the Congress party had won 15 seats, its allies, the Indian Union Muslim League, won two seats, the Revolutionary Socialist Party won one, and the Kerala Congress (M) won one seat. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) won one seat in Alappuzha.

Modi govt gave Bihar raw deal: Congress

The Congress launched a scathing attack on the Modi government, spotlighting critical issues plaguing Bihar and questioning the delay in granting the state special category status as promised.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh criticized the Prime Minister ahead of his Bihar poll rallies, posing pointed queries regarding the unaddressed flooding of the Kosi river and the status of airport projects pledged by the PM.

Ramesh highlighted Bihar’s grim socio-economic indicators, citing the Centre’s own Multidimensional Poverty Index report which ranks Bihar as India’s poorest state with over half its population lacking essential health, education, and living standards.

He pointedly reminded of the Raghuram Rajan Committee’s recommendation for a new fund allocation methodology based on a multi-dimensional index, stressing the government’s failure to act.

Ramesh underlined PM Modi’s 2014 promise of special status for Bihar, yet questioned the prolonged delay in its realization. Drawing attention to the cyclical devastation caused by Kosi river floods, Ramesh criticized the government’s reactive approach of rebuilding embankments, suggesting ulterior motives behind the repetitive construction.

He accused the government of negligence in addressing diplomatic solutions with Nepal regarding the barrage gates. Ramesh raised suspicions of BJP’s profiteering from Bihar’s miseries, citing unfulfilled airport promises despite years of assurances.

He challenged the government’s infrastructure focus, questioning the neglect of airport projects over the past decade and urging PM Modi to break his silence on these pressing issues.

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