Congress walks Agnipath to test Modi in 7th phase of LS poll

Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader

Image credit X @RahulGandhi

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Jairam Ramesh says Agnipath scheme jeopardized national security

By Manish Anand

New Delhi, May 27: Fifty-seven parliamentary constituencies will go to the polls in the seventh and the last phase on June 1. This again is a phase for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to defend, as the saffron outfit had nearly won most of the 57 Lok Sabha seats.

Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah in his trademark pattern has claimed that the BJP has already won majority in the Lok Sabha. The counting of the votes will take place on June 4.

But the BJP appears on the backfoot with the Opposition turning spotlight on the Agnipath scheme. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi accused the Narendra Modi-led government of creating two classes within the Armed Forces.

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The BJP had taken a delegation to the Election Commission to complain against Gandhi for claiming that the Agnipath scheme created two classes. Union Minister for External Affairs Subhramanyam Jaishankar had accused Gandhi of jeopardizing the national security with claims of two classes having been created by the Agnipath scheme.

The Congress communication department chief and the former Union Minister, Jairam Ramesh, on Monday asserted that the Agnipath scheme jeopardized the national security. Ramesh in a video message said that the Agnipath scheme weakened India’s capability to defend against China.

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“The chiefs of the three-armed forces had opposed the introduction of the Agnipath scheme. Former Army Chief MM Naravane revealed in his book that he had opposed the Agnipath scheme,” said Ramesh. He demanded an answer from Modi on reasons for the unveiling of the contractual recruitment scheme in the Armed Forces.

Thirteen seats in Punjab and four in Himachal Pradesh will go to the polls in the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections. Thirteen seats from Uttar Pradesh will also go to the polls in the last phase.

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The Congress is seeking to capitalise on “anger against the Agnipath scheme” in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. The introduction of the scheme had seen strong protests in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh.

The BJP had won all the four Lok Sabha seats from Himachal Pradesh. But the Congress is hopeful that the party will be able to test the BJP on the basis of the simmering anger against the contractual recruitment scheme in the Armed Forces.

Ground reports claim that the BJP sweated out in Haryana and Uttarakhand because of the Agnipath scheme issue taking centre stage in the elections. The Congress has consistently been attacking Modi for launching the scheme while the BJP has maintained a silence.

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