Rahul Gandhi, in his maiden speech as the Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in Lok Sabha on Monday, made a frontal attack on the Centre on an array of issues including Agnipath scheme, NEET exams and also accused the ruling party of 'practising' violent form of Hinduism.

Rahul’s observation on Agniveers, however, looks more like a 'fabricated and motivated' charge while he tried to step up the heat on the BJP-led NDA government. The facts, which have begun to surface, show that the Agnipath scheme has provisions for martyr status to the fallen soldiers and also adequate compensation, in case of death.

Addressing the House, LoP Rahul Gandhi said: “A few days ago, I met a family of Agniveer in Punjab who attained martyrdom in a landmine blast. I am calling him a martyr, but the Government of India doesn’t acknowledge him as a martyr.”

“The family won’t receive a pension or compensation, nor will their son be recognized as a martyr,” he added while claiming that the Agniveers are merely treated as 'use and throw' labourers,” the LoP said.

This drew quick intervention from the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh who accused him of spreading lies in the House.

“The government pays a compensation of ₹1 crore to the family members of an Agniveer who dies in the line of duty,” the Defence Minister pointed out.

Rahul Gandhi, in his fierce speech, also accused the Centre of driving a wedge between the regular Army personnel and the Agniveers by giving them differential treatment.

“You give an Agniveer six months of training and put him in front of Chinese personnel who receive five years of training. Not only that, you are creating differences between a jawan and an Agniveer because of the benefits,” the LoP said.

He also claimed that the Agnipath scheme was imposed on the Army by the PMO and it didn’t have enough acceptance in the Armed forces.

The Defence Minister, in a strong rebuttal to LoP’s charges, informed the House that the government held direct consultations with at least 158 organisations before rolling out the project and added that their views and suggestions were factored in.

The Defence Minister also asked the LoP to refrain from misleading the House and making statements on Agniveers, only after corroborating the facts.

“LoP must understand the scheme first,” the Defence Minister said and also demanded that Rahul’s references to Agniveers be expunged from the house proceedings.

Modi government introduced the Agnipath scheme in the second term to recruit youth aged 17.5-21 as soldiers for four years.

The initiative is aimed at modernising the military, fostering a younger force while alleviating financial burdens from pensions and benefits.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)

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