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The Congress on Sunday attacked the Centre over the Agnipath scheme, alleging that it has “compromised” national security and “severely disrupted” the armed forces’ recruitment processes in India.

The Congress’ attack came after party leader Rahul Gandhi had an interaction with ex-servicemen, potential Agniveer recruits and the youth whose regular recruitment into the armed forces has been disrupted by the introduction of Agnipath during the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Madhya Pradesh.

Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh in a post on X said that Gandhi had a 40-minute interaction with the three communities on the morning of the 50th day of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.

“The Agnipath scheme has compromised national security and severely disrupted the armed forces’ recruitment processes in India,” he alleged.

Ramesh claimed the ex-servicemen have noted that the scheme compromises national security by demoralising the armed forces and rushing through training for our servicemen in a mere six months.

“Potential Agniveer recruits are dissatisfied by the loss of prestige and economic security due to the scheme,” he said.

“Finally, there are about 1.5 lakh youths who have completed all formalities for regular recruitment to the armed forces who have not been recruited because of the arbitrary introduction of the Agnipath scheme,” Ramesh said.

The Congress leader claimed that as presently designed, the Agnipath scheme is detrimental in all respects and is an “anyay” (injustice) to our servicemen and to our youth.

“The ex-servicemen and Agniveer recruits have been protesting against the Modi government’s policies for several months, having held several demonstrations at the Jantar Mantar in Delhi and taken out a padayatra from Champaran in Bihar to New Delhi,” Ramesh said.

“The Agnipath scheme was pushed through without any discussion and consultation as revealed by the former Chief of Army Staff himself in his memoir,” he said.

Ramesh further said that Gandhi promised a comprehensive review and appropriate amendments to the Agnipath scheme.

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