Rajasthan calls for immediate withdrawal of Agnipath scheme

In a meeting chaired by CM Ashok Gehlot, Ministers said Centre should have a comprehensive discussion before introducing such schemes

Published - June 18, 2022 09:16 pm IST - JAIPUR

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot. File

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The Rajasthan Council of Ministers on Saturday passed a unanimous resolution calling for immediate withdrawal of the Centre’s Agnipath scheme for recruitment in the Armed Forces, keeping in mind the larger public interest and the sentiment of the youth. The Ministers who attended the meeting expressed concern over the nationwide protests and violence over the scheme.

In the meeting presided over by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot at his official residence here, the Council of Ministers said the Union government should have had a comprehensive discussion with all the stakeholders before introducing any such scheme. It also appealed to the youth to raise their voice in a peaceful, non-violent and democratic manner and maintain restraint.

Official sources said here that the Council of Ministers felt that the Agnipath scheme would neither secure the future of the youth, nor would it enable the Army to face the challenges with full confidence. “There should be regular recruitment in the Army along with better training. The soldiers must get all the benefits so that their future and their family‘s future can be secured,” the resolution stated.

Several doubts over future

The Council of Ministers said the scheme had created several doubts among the youth regarding their future. Because of this, they were protesting on the roads and railway tracks in many areas of the country and the incidents of vandalism and damage to public property were being reported from many places.

“The whole country takes pride in the Indian Army’s glorious history. To maintain dignity and prestige of the Army, it is necessary to have skills, experience and stability in the forces. It is crucial to have permanent soldiers instead of short-term recruits, so that the country can reap the benefit of their experience,” the resolution stated. It said the Army must be equipped with all the resources and must be continuously strengthened.

The protests against the Agnipath scheme continued at various places in the State on Saturday, with the protesters taking out rallies and trying to block roads and railway tracks. Protests were witnessed in the districts such as Jaipur, Jodhpur, Alwar, Sikar, Churu, Jhunjhunu and Bharatpur, which are the major centres in the State for Army‘s recruitment.

The protesters gathered on the Jaipur-Delhi national highway at Behror in Alwar district and blocked it briefly. They broke the windowpanes of a bus when they were being dispersed by the police. They also clashed with the police in Jhunjhunu’s Chirawa town while trying to block a railway track.

RLP to protest

The Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP), which has three members in the Rajasthan Assembly, on Saturday announced that it would launch a major agitation against the Centre’s decision to introduce the Agnipath scheme from Jodhpur on June 27. RLP national convener Hanuman Beniwal said the party workers would hold a march to Jaipur, and if needed, to New Delhi as well, to protest against the scheme.

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