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Cong to meet President, demand withdrawal of Agnipath Scheme

New Delhi : Congress General Secretary Ajay Maken said that the Congress will hold Satyagraha at Jantar Mantar on Monday and demand the President withdraw the Agnipath recruitment scheme. "We'll sit on Satyagraha at Jantar Mantar today, and in the evening at 5 pm we'll meet the President and demand that the Agnipath scheme be withdrawn," said Congress' Ajay Maken. According to him, the scheme needs to be discussed with the youth first before implementation. "The scheme should first be discussed with youth and in Parliament, but before that, it should be withdrawn," he added. Congress workers will hold "peaceful" protests across the country on Monday against the "anti-youth" Agnipath scheme and the central government's "vendetta politics" targeting party leader Rahul Gandhi, who is being questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case. "We will also inform the President how our MP was harassed and how ED is being misused," added Ajay Maken. Congress MP S Jothimani was allegedly beaten up by Delhi Police during the protest against the ED probe on Rahul Gandhi in National Herald Case. "The police came inside AICC by breaking the gate. Rahul Gandhi has been questioned for more than 30 hours and undue pressure is being put on us. Pressure is being created through ED and police. In the last years, 5422 cases are going on in ED, out of which 5310 cases are filed in the 8 years of the Modi government," he added.Taking to Twitter, Congress General Secretary in-charge Communications Jairam Ramesh said on Sunday said, "Tomorrow lakhs of Congress workers across the country will continue peaceful protests against the anti-youth Agnipath scheme and against Modi government's vendetta politics targeting its MP Rahul Gandhi. A Congress delegation will also meet Rashtrapati in the evening." A delegation of Congress leaders is also likely to meet President Ram Nath Kovind today and submit a memorandum on the issue of entry of Delhi Police into their party headquarters and the alleged misbehaviour with party MPs during protests against Rahul Gandhi's ED questioning. The grand old party held a 'satyagraha' on Sunday at Jantar Mantar in solidarity with the youth protesting against Central Government's Agnipath Recruitment Scheme. Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday for the fourth round of questioning in a money laundering case linked to the National Herald case. Regarding his questioning by ED on Monday, as per official sources, the Congress leader, a Z+ category protectee of the Central Reserve Police Force after the Union government withdrew the Gandhi family's Special Protection Group cover in 2019, was confronted with several documents collated by the ED as evidence recovered so far in the case to get his version. After the Agnipath scheme, which allows Indian youths to serve in the regular cadre of the Armed Forces for a period of four years, was announced on June 14, protests erupted in various states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand and Assam. As the agitation intensified in some places, protestors went on the rampage setting trains on fire, torching vehicles and damaging both private and public properties. A total of 46,000 Agniveers will be recruited this year but a top military officer said it will go up to 1.25 lakhs in near future. The entry age for all new recruits in the Armed Forces has been fixed as 17.5 to 21 years of age. However, following protests, the Central government announced an increase in the upper age limit for the recruitment of Agniveers from 21 years to 23 years for the recruitment cycle of 2022 as it has not been possible to undertake the recruitment during the last two years.

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