Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Sunday took a jibe at BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya's remark that he would prefer to employ an Agniveer for security at the party office, and asked whether this is what the BJP meant when it launched the Main Bhi Chowkidaar campaign before the 2019 general polls.
Earlier today, Vijayvargiya said, "I will give preference to an Agniveer to hire him as security in BJP office; even you can. One of my friends hired a 35-year-old retired army personnel as his security stating that he has faith in him. He is a soldier so I am not scared. This means a soldier is the name of self-confidence. People have faith in armymen."
Responding to the remark of the BJP leader, Ramesh tweeted, "Now we know what the BJP really meant when they launched the campaign in 2019, 'Main Bhi Chowkidaar'..."
Row over the newly launched Agnipath Scheme kicked off intensified with the protests in parts of the country. While the Opposition including Congress demanded to withdraw the scheme, a top Army official on Sunday clarified that the programme will not be rolled back and urged the protesting students to start preparing for Agnipath and stop wasting time by protesting.
Speaking to ANI, Lt Gen Anil Puri, Addt'l Secy, Dept of Military Affairs, said, "By going to the streets, they are only wasting their time, they should spend this time to get themselves physically ready. The worst issue is that today we are not what we were 10 years back. Everything is interconnected. Why roger your future? It's not worth it. I appeal to them to start preparing."
The officer, while explaining the motive of the scheme, said that it was designed keeping the youth in mind.
"We have thought through the scheme which has been designed keeping the youth of the country in mind. We know that in the coming days that the youth of the country will be less than 25 years, 50 per cent of them. And the Indian Army has to be reflective of this," Lt Gen Puri said.
Mentioning the protests that turned violent in various parts of the country, the officer said that they never thought that the "youth will damage the government property" though they knew that there may be some anger because of the change in the recruitment procedure.
"We know that all these problems (protests) may happen. Anger comes when change happens but we never thought youth will damage govt property... Anger and arson are two different things," he said.
When asked about the appropriate place where the youth can express their opinion and anger against the scheme, the Army officer said that there are various recruitment centres across the country where they can be informed about the new procedure of recruitment properly.
"There are 112 recruitment centres, 84 of the Army. All they have to do is knock the door and ask about the scheme. They are stopping themselves because somebody is stopping them," he said.
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