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 Continuing the party’s attack on the government over the Agnipath scheme, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Monday said that it is against the interests of the country’s security and the future of the youth.

He alleged that the scheme has compromised India’s defence capabilities against China. In a video statement released on X, Jairam Ramesh said that the scheme is “a compromise with the country’s security”.

He said after the scheme was implemented by the Modi government, the number of youth being taken into armed forces has reduced to about a fourth of nearly 75,000 recruited earlier.

He said the youth taken through the scheme are given training for six months and are sent to the borders.

He claimed that the service chiefs had opposed the Agnipath scheme.

Jairam Ramesh also referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks at an all-party meeting in 2020 following border tensions with China and said these remarks had weakened India’s negotiating position.

He said the “outgoing PM” will have to answer for the scheme after results of Lok Sabha polls on June 4.

In the post on X accompanying his video statement, Jairam Rames alleged that the Agnipath scheme had been brought by the Prime Minister without any consultations.

“It has compromised our capabilities against China,” he said.

Congress leaders including Rahul Gandhi have been raking up Agniveer scheme in their poll rallies.

The Agnipath scheme was announced by the Centre in June 2022. It provides for recruiting soldiers for four years, with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them in regular service. Those recruited under the scheme are called ‘Agniveers’. The government has said there will be several job and other avenues open for the youth who are not retained in the defence forces after four years.

Congress has said in its manifesto for Lok Sabha polls that it will “scrap the Agnipath Scheme and return to the normal recruitment processes followed by the Army, Navy and Air Force that will guarantee economic and social security for our soldiers”.