‘He should serve the Army first': Union minister VK Singh on Rahul Gandhi's Agniveer poll pledge | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘He should serve the Army first': Union minister VK Singh on Rahul Gandhi's Agniveer poll pledge

May 27, 2024 09:14 PM IST

Lok Sabha elections: Rahul Gandhi had said the INDIA bloc government will come to power and “throw this Agniveer scheme in the dustbin”

Union minister General VK Singh (retd) on Monday slammed Congress MP Rahul Gandhi for his remark promising to scrap the ‘Agnipath’ scheme if the INDIA alliance comes to power after the Lok Sabha elections. 

“I want to advise Rahul Gandhi that he must serve in the Indian army first and then make any statement about the Agniveer scheme. It is not right to say anything if he does not know the army,” Singh was quoted by ANI as saying. 

Union minister VK Singh and Rahul Gandhi.
Union minister VK Singh and Rahul Gandhi.

The Narendra Modi government in 2022 rolled out the Agnipath recruitment scheme for short-term induction of personnel into the armed forces with an aim to bring down the age profile of the three services.

ALSO READ: ‘Absolute lies’: Amit Shah counters Rahul Gandhi's attack on Agnipath scheme

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The scheme provides for recruiting youngsters in the age bracket of 17 years and a half to 21 years for a four-year period with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 years.

The opposition parties including the Congress have been aggressively campaigning against the scheme, even promising to scrap if the INDIA alliance comes to power. 

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Addressing a rally in Haryana's Mahendragarh on May 22, Gandhi had alleged that the Centre was turning India's soldiers into ‘labourers’. 

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"You have patriotism in your heart, blood, and DNA. Narendra Modi ji, for the first time, has turned India's soldiers into labourers. He (PM Modi) says that there will be two kinds of soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country. One, is a normal jawan or officer whose family will get a pension, status, and all other facilities. The other, a poor family's son who is named Agniveer; this Agniveer will neither get the status of 'shaheed' nor will he get any pension or any other facility," Gandhi had said.

“The Army does not want this scheme... this scheme is imposed by the PMO. The INDIA bloc government will come to power and the first thing we shall do is throw this Agniveer scheme in the dustbin,” the Congress MP said. 

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