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Agnipath protests Highlights: Agnipath a long-pending reform, govt concessions pre-planned, says Defence Ministry

Agnipath Protests Highlights 19 June 2022: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said by repeatedly giving false hope of jobs, he has forced the youth to walk on 'Agnipath' of unemployment.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 20, 2022 9:32:12 am
Protests have been raging across the country over the Centre's new recruitment scheme. (Photo: AP)

Agnipath protests Highlights: Amid protests over the Centre’s new recruitment policy for the Armed forces, Lt General Anil Puri, the Additional Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs, said that the main motive behind implementing the Agnipath scheme was to bring in more youth into the forces. “This reform was long pending. We want to bring youthfulness and experience with it. Today, a large number of jawans are in their 30s and officers are getting command much later than in the past,” he added.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Sunday attacked the Centre over it’s Agnipath scheme and said “This scheme will kill the youth of the country, will finish Army.” Urging the youth to recognise “fake nationalists”, Gandhi assured her party’s full support to those peacefully protesting the Centre’s Agnipath scheme for recruitment in the armed forces. She made the remarks as Congress MPs and leaders sat on a ‘Satyagraha’ at Jantar Mantar here in solidarity with the youths protesting the controversial scheme.

Amid widespread protests against the new military recruitment scheme, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said by repeatedly giving false hope of jobs, he has forced the youth to walk on ‘Agnipath’ of unemployment.

Live Blog

Agnipath Protests Highlights: Congress holds ‘Satyagraha’ in Delhi; PM Modi forced youth to walk on ‘Agnipath’ of unemployment, says Rahul Gandhi

20:42 (IST)19 Jun 2022
After comment on Agniveers draws flak, BJP's Kailash Vijayvargiya blames ‘toolkit gang’

BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said Sunday that if he had to hire a guard for his party office in Indore, he would prefer to hire an Agniveer. After the comment was met with swift criticism, including from his party MP Varun Gandhi, he sought to clarify the statement and shifted the blame to the “toolkit gang”. Read more

17:43 (IST)19 Jun 2022
Agnipath shadow looms over bypolls: From Sangrur to Azamgarh to Rampur

Against the backdrop of the raging countrywide protests against Agnipath — the Narendra Modi-led central government’s recently-unveiled scheme for short-term recruitment of soldiers in the armed forces — the by-elections to 10 Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies in half-a-dozen states are going to take place on June 23. The anti-Agnipath stir being undertaken by a section of youths and students in a slew of states may impact these bypolls, even as it has already started influencing the campaigning of various political parties and candidates in several constituencies in a significant way. Read full story here

15:01 (IST)19 Jun 2022
Intake of soldiers will go up to 1 lakh in few years: Lt General Anil Puri

Explaining the future path having implemented the Agnipath scheme, Lt General Anil Puri, the Additional Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs, said: “In the next 4-5 years, our intake (of soldiers) will be 50,000-60,000 and will further increase to 90,000-1 lakh subsequently. We've started small at 46,000 to analyse the scheme... and to build up our infrastructural capacity.”

14:45 (IST)19 Jun 2022
'Reform was long pending...We want to bring youthfulness and experience with this reform' : Lt Gen Anil Puri

Addressing a press conference, Lt Gen Anil Puri, Additional Secretary, Department of Military Affairs, Sunday said, "This reform was long pending. We want to bring youthfulness and experience with this reform. Today, a large number of jawan are in their thirty's officers are getting command much later than in the past."

14:36 (IST)19 Jun 2022
Agnipath scheme has left India's youth feeling dejected: Mayawati

BSP chief Mayawati on Sunday said the Centre's new military recruitment scheme 'Agnipath' has made the youth of the country feel "disappointed" and "desperate."

"At a time when barring a handful of people, a vast majority of the country's population, especially the youth, is forced to walk on the 'Agnipath' (path of fire) of poverty, inflation, unemployment and tension, the Centre's 'short-term' Agnipath military recruitment scheme has made them feel disappointed and desperate," she said in a series of tweets in Hindi.

14:33 (IST)19 Jun 2022
Gujarat: 14 people detained in Ahmedabad for protest against 'Agnipath' scheme

At least 14 people were detained in Gujarat's Ahmedabad city on Sunday after they assembled without permission to protest against the Centre's 'Agnipath' scheme announced for the recruitment of youth in the armed forces, police said. Some of the protesters claimed they had gathered to protest against the scheme in a peaceful 'Gandhian' manner.

Around 100 people, mostly locals, assembled at a spot in the city's Meghaninagar area to protest against 'Agnipath,' the scheme announced by the Centre for the recruitment of youth in the defence forces for a four-year tenure. 'We detained 14 of them as they had gathered without permission,' Meghaninagar police station's inspector J P Chauhan said. (PTI)

14:31 (IST)19 Jun 2022
Watch | Ministry of Defence briefs the media on Agnipath recruitment scheme

14:22 (IST)19 Jun 2022
Tavleen Singh writes: Bring out the bulldozers?

When those we elect to rule us disrespect the law, they lose the right to impose it. Has this message gone home to Bulldozer Baba as his admirers call him? When he saw trains and buses being burned in his own state last week, did Yogi Adityanath discover that bulldozers may terrorize those whose homes they crush, but they are incapable of bringing law and order? This happens only when the state is seen to be fair, compassionate, and just. Not even his most ardent fans would use these words to describe the Chief Minister of our largest state. Tavleen Singh writes

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14:19 (IST)19 Jun 2022
On Agnipath violence in Bihar, Prashant Kishor points to ‘conflict’ between allies JD(U) and BJP

Poll strategist Prashant Kishor Sunday weighed in on the protests against the Centre’s Agnipath scheme, which have been raging in Bihar, as he talked about the war of words between the JD(U) and the BJP, who are in alliance in the eastern state.

“There should be agitation against Agnipath, not violence and sabotage. The people of Bihar are bearing the brunt of the conflict between JD(U) and the BJP. Bihar is burning and the leaders of both the parties are busy sparring and pointing fingers at each other instead of solving the matter,” tweeted Kishor. Read more

14:17 (IST)19 Jun 2022
Congress will demand withdrawal of Agnipath scheme: KC Venugopal

Congress MP KC Venugopal Sunday said that the party will demand the withdrawal of the Agnipath recruitment scheme. 

14:13 (IST)19 Jun 2022
Priyanka Gandhi: 'This scheme will kill the youth of the country, will finish Army'

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Sunday attacked the Centre over it's Agnipath scheme and said "This scheme will kill the youth of the country, will finish Army."

"...Please see the intent of this govt and topple it. Bring a govt that is true to the nation, protects country's assets. I urge you to do peaceful protest but don't stop," Gandhi said.

14:05 (IST)19 Jun 2022
Rajnath meets chiefs of Army, Navy and IAF

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday met the three service chiefs amid escalating protests against the 'Agnipath' military recruitment scheme in several parts of the country. It was Singh's second meeting with the chiefs of the Army, Navy and the Air Force for the second straight day on the issue.

There was no official comment on the meeting. It is learnt that the focus of the deliberations was on pacifying the protesters. As the protests intensified in various parts of the country, the defence minister on Saturday approved a proposal to reserve 10 per cent of the jobs in various organisations under the ministry for recruits under the 'Agnipath' scheme if they meet the requisite eligibility criteria. (PTI)

14:01 (IST)19 Jun 2022
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi appeals to youth to protest peacefully against Agnipath scheme

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Sunday appealed to youth to protest peacefully against Agnipath scheme and assured the party's full support. (PTI)

13:55 (IST)19 Jun 2022
NCP MP Supriya Sule: 'haphazard and illogical implentation' of Agniveer scheme resulted in loss of lives

National Congress Party (NCP) MP Supriya Sule Sunday said that the "haphazard and illogical implementation" of the Agniveers scheme for recruitment in the armed forces has resulted in loss of lives, arson, and mayhem pan India. "With well placed recruitment procedures already in place, that has given us defence forces that have protected our borders and us from external aggression, clearly shows the process has succeeded since Independence," Sule tweeted.  

Sule said that the security of the country is at stake, and the future of new generations of deserving soldiers, airforce personnel and navy personnel. 

13:47 (IST)19 Jun 2022
Govt not working for poor and youth but for big industrialists: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

The Centre is not working for the poor and youth, but for industrialists, said Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at the 'Satyagraha' taking place against the Agnipath scheme at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.

13:31 (IST)19 Jun 2022
Youth protesting against Agnipath scheme unaware of its benefits: Muraleedharan

The youth protesting against the Agnipath scheme are those who are unaware of its benefits to them as well as the Indian armed forces, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said on Sunday and urged them to withdraw from their agitation. Speaking to reporters here, Muraleedharan said the youth need not be apprehensive about the scheme for the recruitment of youths aged between 17 and a half and 21 in the Army, Navy and the Air Force, largely on a four-year short-term contractual basis.

He said youngsters were protesting against it without knowing about it. The Union Minister further said that the Narendra Modi government at the Centre has not been found lacking where the future of the youth, welfare of armed forces and national security was concerned. He urged the youth protesting against the scheme to withdraw from it. (PTI)

13:22 (IST)19 Jun 2022
‘How would a politician feel if there is a law that said he can be MP for just one term?’

From a 21-year-old in Banka, Bihar, who hopes to be the first in his family to get a job to a 19-year-old from Jammu’s Reasi town who seeks to follow his brother into the armed forces, The Indian Express talks to young defence aspirants from some of the states that bore the brunt of the protests against the Agnipath scheme. Read the full story here

13:09 (IST)19 Jun 2022
'Will youth fry pakoras outside your offices after four years?' : Youth Congress president Srinivas BV asks Centre

Speaking at the 'Satyagraha' organised by the Congress at Jantar Mantar Sunday, Youth Congress president Srinivas BV asked the Centre what the youth would do after four years of serving for the nation. 'What will youth do after four years, will they fry pakoras outside your office or become a bouncer outside big offices,' he asked.

"This government had promised one rank one pension and now they have brought no pension scheme. This government is bent on destroying youth. Amit Shah son Jay Shah has a scheme of putting in 50,000 and earning 80 crore. I think this is not Agnipath, this is RSS path," Srinivas said.

13:06 (IST)19 Jun 2022
Is this MGNREGA-like step for educated youth or 'hidden agenda' of RSS: Tejashwi Yadav on Agnipath

Amid widespread protests against the Agnipath military recruitment scheme in Bihar, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Sunday said there were many doubts about the scheme in the minds of the youth and demanded that it be withdrawn. Addressing a press conference here, he asked whether this was a MGNREGA-like initiative for the educated youth or there was a 'hidden agenda' of the RSS in it.

Yadav also appealed to the youth to protest peacefully against the scheme. Why is Prime Minister Narendra Modi silent on the whole issue, he asked. He said the government talked about 'one rank, one pension', but has come up with a scheme of 'no rank, no pension'. (PTI)

13:04 (IST)19 Jun 2022
Watch | Congress holds ‘Satyagraha’ at Jantar Mantar

Two days after the government unveiled its Agnipath scheme for recruiting soldiers across the three services, protests raged in several cities against the new defence recruitment path with aspirants raising job security and post-service benefits as their major concerns.

Why are job aspirants up in arms?

Job security and pension are two major issues being cited by protesters. Under the previous system, troops joined for a 17-year period, which could be extended for some personnel, and it resulted in a lifelong pension. The new scheme, however, envisages just a four-year tenure for most, and the Agniveers will not be eligible for pension benefits.

EXPLAINED | Why are job aspirants protesting against the ‘Agnipath’ scheme?

As the protests against Agnipath, the Centre’s new recruitment scheme for the armed forces, continued for the third consecutive day on Saturday, including in Bihar, it sparked a war of words between the JD(U) and the BJP, members of the ruling coalition in the state.

While Bihar BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal targeted the JD(U) over its party offices coming under attack, calling it a “conspiracy” that police didn’t stop the protesters, JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh hit back, asking why police hadn’t acted against protesters in states where it is in power.

POLITICAL PULSE | Agnipath scheme protests: NDA allies face off in Bihar; Centre steps up security for 10 BJP leaders

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First published on: 18-06-2022 at 08:36:21 am
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