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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement that the Agniveer scheme needs changes and improvement indicates that the scheme thrust on lakhs of patriotic youth has failed, said Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday.

Kharge said on X that the Modi government played with the future of lakhs of youth but is now talking of the scheme’s shortcomings before the elections. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday that his government is “open to change” in the Agniveer recruitment scheme if necessary.

Kharge urged the government to apologise to millions of youth for playing with their future.

“First, the Modi government played with the future of our millions of youth, and now, due to electoral reasons, they are talking about acknowledging the flaws in the Agniveer scheme. They should apologise to our patriotic youth before anyone else,” Mallikarjun Kharge said.

The Congress party has promised that our government will shut down the Agniveer scheme.

According to Kharge, the Agnipath scheme has weakened national security and now no youth wants to join the army for just four years.

Highlighting the success of the “Jai Jawan” campaign launched by the Congress party, Malikarjun emphasized the plight of nearly 1.5 lakh young men and women who were denied opportunities due to the Agniveer scheme.

“After passing rigorous selection processes, between 2019 and 2022, a regular recruitment campaign was accepted into our 3 prestigious military forces–the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force, because the Modi government abruptly imposed the Agnipath scheme on the armed forces,” the tweet added.
Due to this recruitment scheme, future Agniveers are highly dissatisfied and directionless due to the damage to prestige and economic security, said Kharge.

Kharge further said that former Chief of Army Staff (retired) General MM Naravane said that the Agniveer scheme was originally intended to take in 75pc of applicants and release 25pc.

“The Modi government reversed this, and forcefully implemented this scheme on all three military forces,” said Kharge.

Malikarjun concluded the tweet by condemning the BJP for jeopardising the future of the country’s youth and urging voters to reject their electoral rhetoric.

“The country’s awakened youth will reject the BJP’s electoral rhetoric! The BJP is guilty of darkening their future,” said Kharge.

The recruits named Agniveers serve for a tenure of four years that includes training for six months followed by 3.5 years of deployment. After retirement from the service, they will have the opportunity to apply to continue in the armed forces.

As announced, the ‘Agnipath’ or ‘Agniveer’ scheme is a process for recruiting soldiers in the Army, Navy, and Air Force, to be hired for a term of four years on contract.

Speaking at the Times Now Summit, the Union Minister also said that the government has ensured that the future of the Agniveers is secure.

Asserting that youthfulness is necessary in the defence forces, Singh also defended the scheme, and said, “Sena mein youthfulness honi chahiye. The youth, I feel, are more enthusiastic. They are more tech-savvy. We have taken proper care that their future is also secure. We will also make changes if there is a need.”