'Give youth full-term jobs, not four years': Arvind Kejriwal to Centre amid outrage over Agnipath scheme

Kejriwal in a series of tweets extended his support to the Army aspirants who are protesting against the scheme

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, June 16, 2022, 03:32 PM IST
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Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal |

While violent protests are being held in several states over the recently announced Agnipath scheme, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday urged the Centre not to limit the service period for the new recruits in the armed forces to just four years.

Kejriwal in a series of tweets extended his support to the Army aspirants who are protesting against the scheme.

In tweets in Hindi, the AAP chief wrote, "The central government's new scheme in army recruitment is being opposed everywhere in the country. Young people are very angry and their demands are very right. Army is the pride of our country, our youth want to give their whole life to the country, don't keep their dreams tied in 4 years."

"Appeal to the Central Government- Youth should be given a chance to serve the country for the whole life, not 4 years. Those who were overage due to lack of recruitment in the army for the last two years, should also be given a chance," he wrote in another tweet.

Earlier, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav this morning called the move "negligent" and potentially "fatal" for the country's future.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, BJP MP Varun Gandhi, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav have also condemned the scheme.

Protests erupted in Bihar, Utarakhand, Rajasthan and UP

Violent protests erupted in states of Bihar and Utarakhand. The army aspirants were seen torching a train and public property. Students also resorted to stone-pelting at Ara railway station in Bihar as fierce protests took place in other areas of the state.

Protests began in some districts of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday against the 'Agnipath' recruitment scheme of the Central government. Students blocked the GT road in Bulandshahr and raised slogans demanding the withdrawal of the scheme which allow short-term recruitment in the armed forces.

The district officials had a tough time in persuading the protesters to call off the blockade. The protesters submitted a memorandum to the district magistrate.

The aspirants are unhappy

The aspirants said they are unhappy with the changes introduced under the new recruitment scheme for the Indian Army -- particularly the length of service, no pension provisions for those released early, and the 17.5 to 21 age restriction that now makes many of them ineligible.

"We demand that the recruitment be done as it used to be done earlier. Tour of Duty (ToD) be rolled back and exams be held as earlier. Nobody will go to Army just for four years," a protestor in Munger told ANI.

In Bihar's Jehanabad, another protestor said, "Where will we go after working for only four years?... we will be homeless after four years of service. So we have jammed the roads; the country's leaders will now get to know that people are aware." "We work hard to get inducted into the Armed forces. How will the service be for four years, with months of training and leaves? How will we protect the nation after getting trained for just three years? The Government has to take back this scheme," another aspirant stated.

Young aspirants were also seen protesting in Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh against the recruitment scheme.

The protestors also disrupted rail and road traffic in Jehanabad over the recently announced Agnipath recruitment scheme.

In Chhapra, youth burnt tyres and vandalised a bus in protest against the program.

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