Even as the youth protest and the Opposition demands a roll back of the controversial Agnipath “Tour-Of-Duty” Scheme, the government, Monday, went ahead in issuing an official notice for the Army recruitment drive, starting July 2022.
However, also sticking to its guns is the main Opposition, Congress. Around 4:30 pm, senior Congress leaders P. Chidambaram, Mallikarjun Kharge and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury took out a peaceful march from Parliament to Rashtrapati Bhawan to knock on the President’s door for a fair hearing.
“We want the proposal to be debated in the House and be ratified. We are a democracy and the BJP is taking unanimous decisions without the consent of the House. We would like to draw the attention of the President to this dictatorial hand of the BJP,” stated Congressman Adhir Ranjan. The Congress holds the laws are unfair to youth aspirations and the proposed scheme will churn out “security guards to man BJP offices and corporate campuses belonging to BJP’s allies.”
“The proposed scheme will churn out security guards to man BJP offices and corporate campus belonging to BJP’s allies” CONGRESS
The country has been in a “Bharat Bandh” mode on the day, with volatile centres of protest such as Haryana, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, witnessing tight security provisions and a suspended internet connection for 12 hours.
Alongside, the Prime Minister, who was speaking at an event in Mysuru earlier in the day, hit back at critics. “Each time we have tried to bring in a reform, it has proved beneficial. The Opposition does not want a nation-building exercise and that is why it is indulging in provoking the youth,” he said backing the Scheme. The PM was speaking at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru’s function to inaugurate the Centre for Brain Research (CBR). He also laid the foundation stone of Bagchi-Parthasarathy Multispeciality Hospital.
Meanwhile Youth Congress workers on Monday stopped a train at the Shivaji Bridge railway station near Connaught Place in the national capital to push for their demand for a rollback of the Agnipath defence recruitment scheme. The track was cleared by police and security personnel and train movement resumed after about half an hour, sources said.
Several protesters were detained as police personnel tried to remove them from the tracks and the station, a senior police official added. “The government needs to roll-back the scheme. Youth Congress will fight for the unemployed youth who want to serve the country,” Youth Congress president Srinivas BV told reporters.
IYC members also staged protests at nearby Connaught Place.