Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Congress on Monday staged protests across the state against the Centre’s Agnipath defence recruitment scheme and said the government’s “Tughlaqi” decision will have a negative impact on the quality and competence of the country’s armed forces.
In a statement issued here, Uttar Pradesh Congress spokesperson Krishnakant Pandey accused the government of playing with the future of the country’s youths.
“The Tughlaqi scheme Aginpath is playing with the future of youths. The quality and competence of our armed forces are praised across the world but a scheme like this will have a negative impact on them,” he said.
Muhammad bin Tughlaq, who ruled the Delhi Sultanate for a short period of time in the 14th century, was known for his controversial decisions.
Another Uttar Pradesh Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh said senior party leaders took part in the state-wide protests against the Agnipath scheme.
“Rajya Sabha MP Pramod Tiwari and Congress Legislative Party leader in Uttar Pradesh Assembly Aradhana Mishra ‘Mona’ took part in protests in Pratapgarh, former UP Congress chiefs Nirmal Khatri and Ajay Kumar Lallu took part in protests in Ayodhya and Kushinagar respectively. Congress MLA from Pharendra Virendra Chaudhary took part in protests in Maharajganj,” he said.
Other Congress leaders also staged protests in different cities of the state.
Former Congress Legislative Party leader in Uttar Pradesh Assembly Pradeep Mathur said protests were not held in Mathura due to President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to the temple town.
He added that the Congress will again hold protests against Agnipath on Wednesday.
Several parts of the country witnessed protests after the announcement of the Agnipath scheme on June 14. The scheme seeks to recruit in the armed forces youths in the age bracket of 17-and-half to 21 years for only four years with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years. For 2022, the upper age limit has been extended to 23 years.