Agnipath a national security threat: Congress


PTI, May 28, 2024, 2:22 PM IST

New Delhi: Hitting out at the Modi government, the Congress on Tuesday claimed that the Agnipath military recruitment scheme is a ‘national security threat’ and it has shrunk the stream of recruitment which can compromise the country’s security for the next decade.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh’s attack on the government came over a media report which claimed that the Department of Military Affairs is ‘actively’ taking stock of the feedback on serving Agniveers from the services to analyse the effects of their induction to make the commensurate changes suitable for the Army, Air Force and the Navy.

In a post on X, Ramesh claimed that Agnipath is a ‘national security threat’.

“The Indian Armed Forces need to maintain a dense/continuous deployment of personnel along Eastern Ladakh to protect against Chinese aggression,” he said.

“Agnipath has shrunk the stream of recruitment from 75,000 per year to 46,000 per year – the resulting shortfall of personnel can compromise our security for the next decade,” Ramesh claimed.

‘Agniveers’ also have a mere six months of training before being considered battle-ready, he said.

“This is the result of a policy that the Modi Sarkar made with zero forethought, zero consultation, and in the face of active opposition of the three Army chiefs. The outgoing PM/sva-ghoshit Bhagwan’s arrogance is more sacrosanct than the security of the country,” Ramesh said.

On Monday, the Congress accused the Modi government of ‘playing with’ national security and the future of the youth by bringing in the Agnipath scheme and asserted that the military recruitment programme would be scrapped when an INDIA bloc government was formed at the Centre.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has said the Agnipath scheme was an insult to the patriotism of the country’s armed forces and the youth.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has stoutly defended the Agnipath scheme, saying there cannot be a more attractive scheme for the youth as it offers a guarantee of a full-term job for ‘agniveers’ who retire following a four-year tenure in the armed forces.

The government rolled out the Agnipath recruitment scheme in June 2022 for short-term induction of personnel to bring down the age profile of the three services.

It provides for recruiting youngsters between the age bracket of 17-and-half years and 21 for four years with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years.

 

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