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'Agnipath' protests: Nadda appeals to youth to believe in PM Modi, drop agitation

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Chitradurga, June 18: Calling upon the youth protesting against the defence recruitment scheme 'Agnipath' to believe in Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP national president J P Nadda on Saturday appealed to them to end the agitation and choose the path of discussion, and understand the scheme in detail.

JP Nadda

Alleging that certain forces don't want reforms or change in the country, he claimed that the youth are being misled about the scheme.

"I want to appeal to our young friends that Agnipath is a revolutionary scheme, it is a big revolutionary step to place the Indian military at a strong position globally, we have to understand it. So I appeal to youth, I'm aware that attempts are on to trick and mislead them," Nadda said.

Addressing a meeting of Gram panchayat presidents and vice-presidents, he said there are certain forces in this country who don't want reforms or change, and they don't want the power of youth to be used in a right way in the service of the nation.

"But, I want to tell our young friends that they should believe in Prime Minister Modi, the way in which he has served the country...In the days to come the Agniveers who emerge from Agnipath will always be known for protecting the country by establishing themselves before the world," he added.

These statements from the ruling BJP's national president came even as protests against the Agnipath scheme raged through several States across the country for the fourth day today.

Appealing to youth to understand the scheme in depth, Nadda said, "Try to know that at the age of 17, (the scheme gives) youth an opportunity to get trained not only for military but also for a change in their entire life." The training, along with entry into military, would also help one join State services at a later stage, he said. Karnataka is among the States that have stated that they would give preference to Agniveers in recruitment to police services in the State, he said.

"It is a big opportunity and I certainly will like our young friends who are on the path of agitation to choose the path of discussion, try to know and understand in depth everything for the betterment of your future. Also, keep in mind that BJP under Modi's leadership always thinks about the youth and the country," Nadda said.

Asking youth to take advantage and benefits of the scheme, he called on panchayat heads from the party to take the message about Agnipath to youth in their respective villages.

Stating that the work that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been able to do in the last eight years for national security, no other Prime Minister has been able to do it, Nadda said, "There was a time when it used to take three days to reach the border, our soldiers were unable to reach on time, today our soldiers can reach within 24 hours, prepared for war."

"Till now, no one was able to give a standup to China, but by protecting our border, Modi has sent a clear message to the world that we are not interested in occupying other's territory, but no one can look at India with a wrong intention," he said, noting that thousands of kilometres of roads have been laid along the borders in the last eight years to ensure quick movement of soldiers and arms to frontier areas.

Trying to highlight that national security is the highest priority of Modi government, the BJP chief further said, "You tell me did anyone think or did any government do surgical strike or air strike? Even during the Kargil, it was Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee (former PM), who had responded (to Pakistan), and now if someone has given a befitting reply to Pakistan it is Narendra Modi."

Nadda, while addressing the meet, also expressed confidence about "lotus blooming" (BJP coming to power) in Karnataka once again after the 2023 Assembly polls, as he called on partymen to work for it. Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, State BJP chief Nalin Kumar Kateel, party national General Secretary Arun Singh, along with several Ministers and party leaders, were present on the occasion.

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