Criticising ‘Agnipath-Agniveer’ scheme is not criticising armed forces: CPI’s D Raja

New Delhi, May 23 (PTI) Criticising the ‘Agnipath-Agniveer’ scheme is not the same as politicising or criticising the armed forces, Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary D Raja said on Thursday, adding that the directives of the Election Commission on it are misleading.

In a post on X, Raja also said the poll panel should focus on the BJP leaders who are giving open calls of changing the Constitution.

“The ECI directives on the Agnipath-Agniveer scheme are misleading and are encroaching on the prerogative of the political parties in framing policies. The Agnipath scheme is a way of recruiting army personnel. Criticising or promising to abolish the Agnipath scheme is not at all politicising or criticising the armed forces,” Raja said in a post on X.

“Agnipath scheme reduces the armed force personnel to contractual employees and betrays the youth of the country. Instead of questioning the competence of the political parties in framing new policies or abolishing draconian ones like Agnipath, ECI should focus on BJP leaders who are giving open calls of changing the Constitution,” he added.

The Election Commission on Wednesday wrote to both BJP president J P Nadda and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, referring to their respective replies to the notices issued to them on April 25. The poll panel directed the BJP leaders to refrain from making speeches on religious and communal lines.

They also asked the Congress not to politicise the defence forces and make potentially divisive statements regarding the socio-economic composition of the armed forces. The Commission was referring to remarks made by top Congress leaders on the Agnipath scheme.

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