Congress leader Salman Khurshid questioned the character of the Indian armed forces amid protest over the Agnipath scheme of recruitment for defence services

As the Congress party continue to protest against the Agnipath scheme of recruitment for defence forces, its senior leader and former Union Minister Salman Khurshid questioned the character of the Indian armed forces.

Speaking to ANI over protests against Agnipath, Salman Khurshid said, "If the 'Agnipath' scheme is made for youth and they are satisfied, then there is no problem. Problem is that for whoever it has been made- they are not satisfied. They are crying. So long as they weep, it is our responsibility to keep the matter of their sorrow in front of the country. It is a big problem for our youth. But along with that the character of the armed forces is under question and it’s a problem for us."

BJP Slams Congress Over Khurshid's Remark

After the former Union Minister Salman Khurshid questioned the character of the armed forces, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national spokesperson, Shehzad Poonawalla slammed the Congress party and said that in the name of Agnipath protests, the Grand Old Party has insulted the Indian armed forces.

"Today Congress has crossed all the limits when Salman Khurshid said 'Character of Armed Forces is under question'," Shehzad Poonawalla said. Recalling the earlier remarks of Congress leaders over the Agnipath scheme, He said, "Mallikarjun Kharge said that through the army institution, RSS people will be recruited, Congress MLA Irfan Ansari said there will be bloodshed and they (Agniveers) will turn 'Supari killers' after 4 years... These people are insulting Agniveers and the Indian Army. These are the same people who have asked for evidence of surgical strike and blamed India for the Pulwama attack."

Adding further the saffron party national spokesperson said that the ongoing protests over the Agnipath scheme in several parts of the country are not "spontaneous" but "sponsored".

Agnipath Scheme

The Centre on Tuesday announced the scheme to recruit youngsters aged between 17 and a half and 21 in the Army, Navy and the Air Force, largely on a four-year short-term contractual basis. After the four-year term, 25% of the youths will be retained for regular service. The Centre has also increased the upper age limit of Agniveers to 23 years for the 2022 recruitment.

The government has assured that Agniveers who would wish not to continue or are not retained after four years of service will have an abundance of opportunities to start a business with the huge corpus funds they receive, complete further studies or join the police or Central Armed Forces where they will get priority.