Congress Chief Mallikarjun Kharge Writes To President Droupadi Murmu On Agnipath Scheme

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'Injustice To Youth': Congress Chief Writes To President On Agnipath Scheme

He shared his letter on X and said the Congress is with the youths in the fight for justice.

New Delhi:

Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday wrote to President Droupadi Murmu highlighting the “gross injustice” done to the country’s youths seeking regular employment in the armed forces due to the Agnipath scheme and urged her to ensure justice for them.

The future of nearly 2 lakh young men and women has become uncertain due to the decision taken by the Centre, Mr Kharge said in his letter to the President.

The President is also the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces.

Mr Kharge shared his letter on X and said the Congress is with the youths in the fight for justice for the armed forces aspirants “who are full of patriotism and bravery”.

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also shared Mr Kharge’s letter on X.

In his letter to President Murmu, Mr Kharge said, “My main purpose in writing to you is to highlight the ‘anyay’ or injustice inflicted on the lakhs of youth whose dreams did not materialise despite the solemn promise made by the government of India.” These youths spent years in pursuit of their dreams and “the resulting frustration and hopelessness has even led to several reported deaths by suicide”, he claimed.

“Our youths cannot be allowed to suffer in this manner. I appeal to you to ensure that NYAY and justice is done,” he said.

Mr Kharge said he recently met a group of young men and women who had been selected for service with the Indian Armed Forces “but were cruelly denied the opportunity to serve their country”.

“Recently I met them and they told me that between 2019 and 2022, almost 2 lakh young men and women were informed that they had been accepted into the three armed services: the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force. These young men and women had struggled against all odds to pass gruelling mental and physical tests and a written exam.

“Until 31 May 2022, they believed that they had fulfilled their dreams and were awaiting only their joining letters. On that day, their dreams were shattered by the government of India’s decision to end this recruitment process and replace it with the Agnipath scheme,” he said.

Former Army chief General M M Naravane has written in his memoir that the Army was “taken by surprise” by the Agnipath and that “for the Navy and the Air Force, it came like a bolt from the blue”, the Congress leader noted.

There are many issues with the Agnipath scheme, Mr Kharge said, adding the scheme is “discriminatory” as it creates parallel cadres of soldiers who are expected to work on similar tasks with very different emoluments, benefits and prospects.

“The majority of Agniveers will be released into an uncertain job market after four years of service, which some have argued could affect social stability,” he said.

The future of almost 2 lakh young men and women has become uncertain because of decisions taken by the government of India, he added.

In June 2022, the government rolled out the Agnipath recruitment scheme for short-term induction of personnel into the armed forces with an aim to bring down the age profile of the three services.

It provides for recruiting youths between the age bracket of 17-and-a-half years and 21 years for four years with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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