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Congress fuelling protests against Agnipath scheme: CM Bommai

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Bengaluru, Jun 19: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday charged that the Congress was fanning the agitation across the country against the Agnipath defence recruitment scheme, which was “evident” from Khanapur Congress MLA Anjali Nimbalkar staging a sit-in demonstration.

Defending the Agnipath scheme, Bommai said it is a novel initiative that is prevalent in other parts of the world.

“The sit-in demonstration staged by the Khanapur MLA is an evidence that the Congress is adding fuel to the fire with regard to the ongoing agitation against the Agnipath scheme,” Bommai told reporters.

“The system of inducting youth for military training is prevalent all over the world. If the youth get military training between the age group of 17 and 21 years, they would get many opportunities after their stint,” the Chief Minister said.

The soldiers would be reinducted into the military and could also join the paramilitary forces, the BJP leader said.

According to him, the scheme has been launched to bring about a younger military and infuse youth power into the armed forces.

Bommai expressed confidence that the Union government will address the apprehensions of those aspirants who have already written the exam as part of previous recruitment cycles.

However, he said violence, arson and setting fire to trains are “simply unpardonable”.

“Passengers are being inconvenienced and public property is being destroyed. No responsible person will ever do it. It is very clear that this is a politically motivated act. People will see and understand this very soon,” Bommai said.

Violent protests have raged on against the new military recruitment scheme in many states and the opposition parties have stepped up pressure to cancel it. On Friday, a 24-year-old man Army aspirant died during protests at Secunderabad railway station in Telangana.

Replying to a question about protests against the textbook review, CM Bommai said he will consider the suggestions of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda and the seers with an open mind.

“We have not made it (textbook review) a prestige issue. We are ready to rectify the mistakes if there are any objections. We have immense respect for the veterans who toiled for the development of the country and the state, historical kings, renowned litterateurs,” Bommai said.

(Source: Vartha Bharati)

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