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Wasn't criticising Army but the Agnipath scheme: Congress tells EC

Wasnt criticising Army but the Agnipath scheme: Congress tells EC

New Delhi: The Congress Party said on Friday that it never criticised the Indian armed forces but the Agnipath military recruitment scheme. Its remarks were within the election Model Code of Conduct, the party added and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of using the poll body, PTI reported.

Congress' statement came after the EC demanded the party of not to politicise armed forces.

Congress' ex-Servicemen Department chief Col (retd) Rohit Chaudhry said the model code states that the "criticism of other political parties when made, shall be confined to their policies, programmes, past records and work".

The armed forces are doing a great job in protecting the country, and the Congress was only talking about the policy of the government when it made statements on the Agnipath scheme, Chaudhry told a press conference at the AICC headquarters here.

He said the Modi government has weakened the Army by introducing the Agnipath scheme. "We are challenging the scheme which is not in the interest of the country, the army and the soldiers."

Chaudhry said the Election Commission has written to Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge that the party's star campaigners should not talk about the operational matters of the defence forces.

"Whenever Modiji gets into trouble, he looks for some support. Earlier, he used to hide behind the defence forces. Now he is taking the support of the Election Commission," the Congress leader said. "If our government is formed, the Agnipath scheme will be scrapped."

This scheme has created discrimination in the Army and is also weakening the security of the country, Chaudhry alleged.

The EC has asked the party not to politicise defence forces and make potentially divisive statements regarding the socioeconomic composition of the armed forces.

The Commission was referring to remarks made by top Congress leaders on the Agnipath scheme.

The government rolled out the Agnipath recruitment scheme in June 2022 for short-term induction of personnel with an aim to bring down the age profile of the three services. It provides for recruiting youngsters between the age bracket of 17-and-half years and 21 for four years with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years.

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TAGS:CongressElection CommissionAgnipathLok Sabha elections 2024
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