Youth Congress intensifies campaign against Agnipath among young voters in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh

After the ECI stopped the party’s IVR helpline, the Youth Congress has stepped up its door-to-door campaign for “youth justice” by ending Agnipath; focus on promise of 30 lakh government jobs, internship stipends, startup fund

Published - May 15, 2024 11:11 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Applicants undergo a physical test during an Army Recruitment rally under the Agnipath scheme. Representational

Applicants undergo a physical test during an Army Recruitment rally under the Agnipath scheme. Representational | Photo Credit: PTI

Haryana, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh, which are known for sending their youth to the armed forces in large numbers, are now the key States for the?Congress in its campaign against the Agnipath recruitment scheme.?

Under Agnipath, only a quarter of recruited soldiers or Agniveers are selected for permanent service; the rest retire after four years. In its manifesto, the Congress had promised to end the Agnipath scheme and revert to the old recruitment system.?

The Indian Youth Congress had launched an interactive voice recorded helpline to explain the party’s 25 guarantees, including the one on scrapping Agnipath. However, the Election Commission of India told the Congress to stop the helpline or any app that sought an OTP from users.?

‘Justice for youth’

With polling in Haryana, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh slated for the last two phases, the party is now making a bid to reach young voters by?intensifying its door-to-door campaign.?

“Rahul Gandhi ji had launched a Jai Jawan campaign to secure justice for over 1.5 lakh youth, who had cleared the entrance exam and physical test and were waiting for their appointing letters, and were told to become Agniveers. Now, we are going door to door to talk about Yuva nyay (justice),” Youth Congress president Srinivas B.V. said.?

Also read: Lok Sabha polls reopen old wounds from anti-Agnipath protests in Bihar

The Youth Congress is also focussing on promoting the Congress’ own proposals, such as the PehliNaukriPakki, or first job assurance?scheme that promises a stipend of ?1 lakh for a year-long internship, its guarantee to give 30 lakh government jobs by August 15 if elected, the promise to create a startup fund with a corpus of ?5,000 crore, and the Mahalakshmi cash assistance scheme for women.

“Wherever we go, unemployment is the biggest issue. And the government doesn’t even acknowledge it. We have not only made a promise to give 30 lakh government jobs but have laid down a timeline,” Mr. Srinivas said. “We are certain that this time, the youth of the country will support us for a better future,” he added.

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