‘Have faith in PM Modi’: BJP chief JP Nadda’s appeal to Agnipath protestors

New Delhi: As protests continue against the Centre’s Agnipath scheme, BJP national president JP Nadda appealed to the aspirants to have “faith” in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and asked them to end the stir and fully understand the recruitment yojana. “I want to appeal to my young friends that this Agnipath is a revolutionary scheme. I know that efforts are being made to mislead the youth…But I want to tell them to have faith in PM Modi. I appeal to them to understand this scheme thoroughly,” JP Nadda said in Karnataka, as per ANI. 

Addressing a meeting of Gram panchayat presidents and vice-presidents, he asked them to take the message about Agnipath scheme to youth in their villages. 

In his appeal to the protesting aspirants, Nadda said, “It is a big opportunity and I certainly will like our young friends who are on the path of agitation to choose the path of discussion, try to know and understand in depth everything for the betterment of your future. Also, keep in mind that BJP under Modi’s leadership always thinks about the youth and the country.”

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Several states have witnessed protests against the Central government’s Agnipath scheme, under which youth will be provided recruitment on a four-year short-term contractual basis, following which 75 per cent of the recruits, known as Agniveers, will have to voluntarily retire with no pension benefits. Amid violent protests in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana, a PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking direction to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the damage to public properties including railways. 

Meanwhile, the Railways on Saturday cancelled 369 trains, out of which 210 are mail/express trains and 159 are local passenger trains, as protests against the Agnipath scheme escalated, despite the Centre’s reassurances to the aspirants. 

Centre offers concessions for Agniveers 

As Agnipath protests refused to die down even on Saturday, the Defence Ministry and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced concessions for those who will serve under the scheme. The MHA decided to reserve 10% vacancies for recruitment in CAPFs and Assam Rifles for Agniveers, and also announced age relaxations for them. While Defence Minister Rajnath Singh approved the proposal of 10% job vacancies in the Ministry of Defence for Agniveers. 

The Centre had earlier raised the upper age limit to 23 years from 21 years in order to assuage the angry protestors. 

Y category security for BJP leaders in Bihar amid Agnipath protests

The Union Home Ministry approved a VIP security cover of the CRPF for at least 10 Bihar BJP lawmakers and leaders in the wake of the ongoing protests against the Agnipath military recruitment scheme. Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi, Bihar BJP president and Paschim Champaran MP Sanjay Jaiswal, Bisfi MLA Haribhushan Thakur, Darbhanga MLA Sanjay Saraogi and some other leaders have been accorded Y category cover by the MHA based on a report received by the central intelligence agencies that these leaders faced threat of physical harm, PTI cited officials as saying. 

(With agency inputs)

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