Amid protests over the Centre’s ‘Agnipath’ scheme in several parts of the country including BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha on Saturday alleged that the scheme would wash out the dreams of young aspirants of defence services.
He said that youths prepare for years and when they were told that they will get to serve only for four years and not 16 years, they got agitated. “Why you resorted to such a step which got them agitated,” Tankha said, pushing his party’s demand to get this contentious scheme rolled back.
“Hold debates in parliament, speak to former generals and consult experts whether this policy is good for the country or not,” he added.
Tankha alleged that a policy prepared in a single ministry doesn’t make it good if stakeholders and the country don’t approve it, it’s a faulty policy. “Same thing happened with farm laws,” he added.
He also appealed to the aspirants to do a peaceful protest instead of resorting to violence, and not vandalise public properties. He said the assets belong to the nation.
Youths staged violent protests in Gwalior and Indore. They damaged railway properties, set ablaze vehicles, created mayhem in public places in Gwalior, Indore and some other places in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday and Friday.
In Madhya Pradesh, the protest was held despite Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announcing that ‘Agniveers’ (those who would be selected and trained by Indian forces) would be given preference in state police services.
As per the state police, around 70 youths have been arrested so far in Madhya Pradesh in connection with violence in Gwalior and Indore. Three cops, including an SI and two constables were also injured in the incident.
Earlier on Saturday, in the wake of growing tension over Agnipath scheme, the Centre sent a caution note to all states and Union Territories (UTs) regarding tackling the continued agitations.