Modi govt. should apologise to youth for the flawed Agniveer scheme: Kharge

The Congress chief was reacting to Defence Minister’s statement that the government was open to making changes in the scheme, if required

March 29, 2024 01:33 am | Updated 07:16 am IST - New Delhi:

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge. File

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge. File | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday reacted to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement that the Narendra Modi government was open to making changes in the Agniveer scheme for the armed forces, if required.

Agniveers are the new recruits under the Agnipath Scheme where 25% of the inductees would get permanent commission while others would retire after four years of service.

Calling the Agnipath Scheme “flawed and discriminatory”, several Opposition parties, including the Congress, have asked the government to scrap it and revert to the old system of recruitment.

In an interview to a news channel on Thursday, Mr. Singh did not talk of reverting to the old scheme but hinted that the government was open to making further changes.

“This shows that the Agniveer Scheme imposed on lakhs of patriotic youth by the Modi government is no longer working. First the Modi government destroyed the future of lakhs of our youth, now due to elections, it has talked about accepting the flaws in the Agniveer Scheme,” Mr. Kharge said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

‘Will scrap the scheme’

The Congress chief said the government should first apologise to the youth and reiterated that if his party came to power, it would scrap the scheme. He added the scheme had “weakened” national security as “no youth wants to join the Army for only four years”.

Mr. Kharge said his party, through its “Jai Jawan” campaign, highlighted the plight of about 1.5 lakh young men and who were selected for the armed forces in a regular recruitment drive between 2019 and 2022 after passing a rigorous selection process. However, their induction could not take place as the Modi government suddenly announced the Agnipath Scheme for the armed forces.

“Former Army Chief [retired] General M.M. Naravane ji recently said that 75% people were to be taken and 25% people were to be released in the ‘Agniveer Yojana’. But the Modi government did the opposite, and forcibly imposed this scheme on the three armed forces,” Mr. Kharge said.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.