Congress leader Manish Tewari backs Agnipath scheme

In the morning, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati took to Twitter and said the Agnipath scheme is an unfair move towards the rural youths.

Congress leader Manish Tewari backs Agnipath scheme
Manish Tewari (file photo)

New Delhi: In what may not go down well with the Congress leadership, senior party leader Manish Tewari on Thursday said the Agnipath scheme is a “step in the right direction”.

Manish Tewari’s comments came on a day when Armed Forces aspirants in several parts of the country, especially Bihar, hit the streets and went on a rampage. Visuals of young aspirants damaging railway properties, buses and putting up blockades on several streets started trickling in since Thursday morning.

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In an interview to the NDTV, Tewari said, “In this day and age you need a mobile army, a younger army. You need more expenditure on technology and weaponry. That’s not going to happen if you have a very big footprint on the ground and that’s where the bulk of your money goes.”

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He was further quoted by the media organisation as saying, “If you look at armed forces going back three decades, there has been a more mobile expeditionary force, which relies more on technology, which relies more on latest weaponry and which has a younger age profile — therefore under those circumstances this is a much-required reform.”

“Plus whether you like it or not, the burgeoning pension bill because of the One Rank One Pension Scheme, I think must have gone into the calculus of the government,” he added.

In a tweet, Tewari said, “I do empathise with youth who have concerns over Agnipath recruitment Process. Reality is India needs a younger armed force with lighter human footprint savvy on technology, equipped with state of art weaponry. Armed forces of Union shouldn’t be an employment guarantee programme.”

In the morning, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati took to Twitter and said the Agnipath scheme is an unfair move towards the rural youths. She wrote, “After keeping the Army recruitment pending for a long time, the Centre has announced a new recruitment scheme ‘Agniveer’ with a short duration of four years in the army. Although it has been called an attractive scheme, the youths of the country are angry. They are openly opposing the change in army recruitment system.”

The Union Cabinet on Tuesday had approved a recruitment scheme for Indian youths to serve in the Armed Forces. The youths selected under the Agnipath scheme will be known as Agniveers.

The Agnipath scheme has been designed to enable a youthful profile of the Armed Forces. In a statement, the Cabinet ministry had said, “It (Agnipath) will provide an opportunity to the youths who may be keen to don the uniform by attracting young talents from the society who are more in tune with contemporary technological trends and plough back skilled, disciplined and motivated manpower into the society.”

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