Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today launched the ‘Jay Jawan Abhiyan’ to provide justice to 1.5 lakh youth in the country who were selected for defence services but were not allowed to join after the launch of the Agnipath scheme.
Gandhi launched the ‘Abhiyan’ on the eighteenth day of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra today. Gandhi had promised these youth that he will raise the issue of injustice with them at every forum.
Gandhi said, due to the implementation of the Agnipath Scheme, around 1.5 lakh candidates selected for the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy between 2019 and 2022 were denied joining.
“Our Jay Jawan campaign is dedicated to those youth who have faced this injustice”, he said, while adding, “it is fight for NYAY against this Anyay”.
Addressing a press conference along the sidelines of the Nyay Yatra, Congress general secretary in charge communications Jairam Ramesh and senior leader Kanhaiya Kumar said, the ‘Jay Jawan Abhiyan’ was also to provide justice for the youth.
The party has invited youth to join the Abhiyan. A website ‘www.jayjawan.in’ and a mobile number ‘9999812024’ was also launched for the youth to get registered with the Abhiyan.
Meanwhile, addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here today, party spokesperson and chairman of the Media and Publicity Pawan Khera, Chairman of the Ex-Servicemen Cell Col (Retd) Rohit Chaudhary, Indian Youth Congress president Srinivas Bhadravathi Venkata and NSUI president Varun Chaudhary said that the scheme was not only against the country’s interests, but also playing with the aspirations of lakhs of youth in the country.
Khera asked as why the defence experts’ opinion was not taken before launching of this scheme. He referred to the disclosure by a former army chief in his memoirs that even he was taken by surprise when the scheme was launched.
Khera said, country cannot afford an army on rent or contractual soldiers. He pointed out, for the Agniveers, there is neither a job guarantee, nor any guarantee in case they get martyrdom unlike the regular soldiers.
He also referred to the plight of 1.6 lakh youth who had been selected for the defence services but were later not allowed to join as the Agnipath scheme was launched.
Khera disclosed that 60 lakh youth had taken various tests for selection of whom 1.6 lakh had been selected. He said, government had charged Rs 100 crores as examination fee for these selections.
Speaking on the occasion, Col Rohit Chaudhary warned that the Agnipath scheme is like playing with fire and putting the country’s security at stake. He said, after the introduction of the scheme the defence forces’ strength had come down by 3 lakhs.
He warned that in another ten years the total strength will be reduced to just 10 lakhs. Col Chaudhary equated Agnipath scheme with the private armies. He apprehended that the Prime Minister might handover this job to his capitalist friends who are already in the security services.
Giving an example of the ‘Wagner Army’ of Russia, he said, the private armies don’t win any wars. He pointed out, despite Russia being so powerful and Ukraine being so small in comparison, Russia has not been able to defeat Ukraine as it (Ukraine) has a regular army while Russia is fighting through a private army.