Extending support to students protesting the ‘Agnipath’ defence recruitment scheme, BJP MP Varun Gandhi on June 17 urged them to follow the path of non-violence, saying it is morally wrong for those wanting to become soldiers to damage public properties when soldiers’ top priority is to put national interest first.
"You must fight for your rights but with peace and harmony," he said in a video message amid widespread protests against the new recruitment policy for armed forces. Angry protestors have damaged public assets at many places across the country.
Noting that the government increased the upper age limit for applicants for the 'Agnipath' scheme to 23 years from 21 soon after it was launched following protests, Mr. Gandhi said he is hopeful that the Centre will continue to follow good suggestions.
He asked students to be patient and maintain democratic decorum while taking all measures to share their views with the government. "Secure future is every youth's right. Justice will be done," he said.
The BJP MP, on June 16, wrote a letter to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, sharing the "concerns" of students with him.
Questioning various provisions of the Centre's 'Agnipath' scheme that envisages recruitment of soldiers on a short-term contractual basis, Mr. Gandhi had told Singh that it will give rise to more disaffection among the youths and asked the government to make its stand clear.