Agnipath Scheme: Trade unions demand roll back, pledge support to the nationwide strike on June 24

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has demanded immediate withdrawal of the Agnipath scheme, pledging support to the nationwide strike called by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on June 24

People protesting against 'Agnipath' scheme (Representative Photo/Twitter)
People protesting against 'Agnipath' scheme (Representative Photo/Twitter)

NH Political Bureau

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) – an umbrella body of various trade unions of India – has demanded immediate withdrawal of the Agnipath scheme, pledging support to the nationwide strike called by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on June 24.

Terming the short-term recruitment policy for the armed forces as “anti-national” the CITU in a statement said, “Such a backward step will severely compromise and negatively affect the quality of employment and efficiency of our armed forces, militating against the country's overall security as well as the quality of employment, determination, and professionalism, much to the detriment of our national interests.”

“Agnipath scheme will push the country into an uncertain future. The scheme belies BJP’s claim of being the most patriotic political party as it deprives those who fight for the country and defend our borders – from pension and social security,” reads the statement issued by the CITU.

Voicing grave concerns over the long-term consequences, the CITU appealed to people to join and support the protest in large numbers.

“Various sections of the society have come in support of the agitating youth. Now the Samyukt Kisan Morcha has also called upon 24th June as Nationwide protest day. The platform of the Central Trade Unions and Federations extended support to this nationwide protest and called upon its units at various levels to participate in the action programmes,” appealed the CITU.

Amarjeet Kaur, general secretary of the All-India Trade Union Congress, said the Narendra Modi government's string of policy decisions over the last eight years has caused suffering to ordinary people.

Saying that due to the policies adopted by the Modi government, the gap between the rich and the poor is widening, the CITU highlighted it all resulted in “unbearable price rise, all time high unemployment and blatant lawlessness by the government itself using bulldozers against suspects".

The SKM – an umbrella body of over 40 farmers organisations – has called upon all constituent organisations of farmers and the youth to oppose the scheme.

The SKM also said that the scheme is “anti-farmers and anti-national”.

The largest farmers’ organization of India said that “the Agnipath scheme is not only a cruel joke with the youth aspiring to join the armed forces but will pose a grave threat to national security also.”

“It will dash the hopes of farmers and other financially stressed sections, who are nursing hopes of jobs in the Army for their unemployed children,” said the SKM.

The SKM has announced a peaceful protest all over the country on June 24 against the scheme.

According to the SKM, farmers, youth and other social organizations would hold protests at the district and sub-division level and submit memoranda to the authorities demanding immediate withdrawal of the scheme.

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