Protests over Agnipath in several states turn violent; Photo shows protest in Patna, Bihar
BSP chief Mayawati on Sunday said the Centre's new military recruitment scheme 'Agnipath' has made the youth of the country feel "disappointed" and "desperate".
"At a time when barring a handful of people, a vast majority of the country's population, especially the youth, is forced to walk on the 'Agnipath' (path of fire) of poverty, inflation, unemployment and tension, the Centre's 'short-term' Agnipath military recruitment scheme has made them feel disappointed and desperate," she said in a series of tweets in Hindi.
"It is the result of reducing the number and possibilities of recruitments in railways, Army and para-military forces that the youngsters from villages are feeling helpless and cheated. Their anger is boiling up because they are staring at a dark future. The situation should be handled properly," she said.
Her comments come after violent protests took place against the new military recruitment scheme in many states and the opposition parties stepped up pressure on the Union government for its rollback.
The BSP leader also urged the Centre to reconsider its decision, and appealed to the protesting youth to exercise restraint.
Unveiling the Agnipath scheme on Tuesday, the government said youths between the ages of 17 and-a-half and 21 years would be inducted for a four-year tenure while 25 per cent of them will be subsequently inducted for regular service.
The youths to be recruited under the new scheme would be called 'Agniveer'. A major objective of the scheme is to bring down the average age of military personnel and cut ballooning salary and pension bills.
The announcement of the new scheme came in the backdrop of recruitments into the military remaining stalled over the coronavirus pandemic for over two years.
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First Published: Jun 19 2022 | 3:58 PM IST