CM MK Stalin slams ‘Agnipath’ initiative, Governor hails ‘revolutionary’ policy

Scores of Army job aspirants staged a protest in Chennai on Saturday against Centre’s Agnipath recruitment initiative for the armed forces, while Tamil Nadu Chief Minister voiced concern against the proposal which however found the backing from the state Governor R N Ravi, who described it as “a revolutionary and transformative policy.”

Stalin alleged the proposal was against national interest and wanted a re-think from the Centre. Ravi urged the youth to be “not misled by hostile elements.”

About 150-odd anti-Agnipath aspirants staged a protest near the War Memorial here today, alleging it would affect their dreams of joining the army. Many of them were seen carrying the Indian tricolour and wanted immediate conduct of the Common Entrance Exam 2021.

One of the protesters told media that joining the army has been his dream and therefore he had not even pursued graduation after Class XII and expressed apprehensions that the Agnipath decision would affect his career prospects.
Police later removed the agitators.

Chief Minister Stalin said while there have been widespread protests by youth against Agnipath, “many former Army officers who are concerned about the country have opposed it.” “Besides political parties, army officials who had served in national security for many years have said Army job is not a part-time one and that this will affect the force’ discipline and insist that this scheme is dangerous,” he said in a statement.

“I request the Union government to withdraw Agnipath, which is against national interest and affects the youth’s ambition of an army job,” he said, adding the government’s rethink should also be done keeping in mind the country’s security.

Governor Ravi, at an event in Tuticorin, said, “the Agnipath scheme that is a revolutionary and transformative policy of enabling youth to join armed forces is paving good platform for our youth.” “Youth should not be misled by some hostile elements. At young age, they as Agniveer can come out after serving nation with self confidence, disciplined, duly trained, financially sound with skills and knowledge to excel in life,” a Raj Bhavan release quoted him as saying.

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Protests have been raging across different states in the country, including Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Bihar against ‘Agnipath,’ the Defence ministry’s pan-India merit-based recruitment scheme for enrolling soldiers, airmen and sailors.

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