Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday urged the Indian youth to “take a non-violent and peaceful route while protesting for their valid demand to do away with the Agnipath scheme”. She also assured the protesters that the Congress party stands with them on the controversial scheme.
Calling it a directionless scheme, Sonia expressed her sadness over the decision. “The Indian National Congress stands by you. We’ll fight for your rights and promise to protect your interest against the scheme. Like a true patriot, we’ll raise our voice against the government in a patient, true and non-violent way,” the Congress chief, who is admitted at Delhi’s Sri Ganga Ram Hospital with post-Covid issues, said in a written statement shared by party leader Jairam Ramesh on his Twitter account. Ramesh is the newly-appointed in-charge of the party’s communication department.
The party president pointed out that even ex-army men and officers have been vocal against the scheme. She said she can understand the pain of job aspirants, who haven’t been able to get a place in the army despite there being lakhs of vacancies. She also expressed her sympathies for air-force job aspirants who have been waiting since long for their exam results.
Sonia Gandhi’s has been detected with a lower respiratory tract infection. Hospital sources say her condition is stable and she’s recovering well.
Her appeal comes amidst massive countrywide protests against the Agnipath scheme. Protesters have targeted trains and other public property, mainly in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Over 340 trains have been affected by the protests.
One protestor was killed in police firing in Telangana’s Secunderabad, while hundreds were injured in violent protests at various places across the country. Many protesters have been arrested or detained by the police.
The Congress and other opposition parties have expressed their support for the protesters and have demanded to do away with the scheme that “contractualises” Army jobs.