Agnipath scheme imposed by RSS: Rahul Gandhi in Parliament

Rahul Gandhi also said that NSA Ajit Doval is the man behind the idea of Agniveer

NEW DELHI | Updated: 07 February, 2023 8:19 pm IST
Congress MP from Wayanad Rahul Gandhi

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on February 7 slammed the government over the Agnipath scheme. He claimed that the scheme was imposed on the Indian armed forces by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

“On Agniveers, senior officers told us that it seems that the idea came from the RSS and was thrust on the Army. They said we are training 1,000s in weapons and then soon after, they will become civilians amid high unemployment. The officers told me that Ajit Doval is the man behind this idea,” Gandhi said in his speech in Motion of Thanks to President Droupadi Murmu’s address.

Talking about the President’s address, the Congress leader quipped, “How is it that the Agniveer Yojana was mentioned only once in the President’s speech? There was no mention of unemployment or inflation in the address. So all the issues that people told me about during the (Bharat Jodo) Yatra, we didn’t hear in the President’s address.”

Taking his allegations further, Gandhi also attacked Prime minister Narendra Modi in the Adani Group controversy, which is at the centre of a storm following the Hindenburg Research report.

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Holding PM Modi responsible for the meteoric rise of Gautam Adani, the chairman of the Adani Group, Gandhi said, “Harvard University should study the relationship between politics and business. India is a case study and the Prime Minister should be given a gold medal for this.”

Cornering the government over the Adani issue, Gandhi said, “All over the country, one word that I heard from Kerala to Kashmir is Adani, Adani, Adani.”

“People wanted to know how come he was successful in every business, how come he never failed?” Gandhi said while holding up a poster of Adani and Prime Minister Modi.

Gandhi, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Kerala’s Wayanad, also said that youths asked him how Adani is now in 8-10 sectors and how his net worth reached $140 billion from $8 billion from 2014 to 2022.

Responding to PM Modi’s attack on him over Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Karnataka’s Tumakuru on January 6, Gandhi said, “The PM said we politicised it, but the fact is that they gave the contract to the Ambanis and they went bust. Adanis had no defence experience but was given four defence contracts.”

Gandhi further said that Adani never made drones, but HAL and other companies in India do that. “Despite that, PM Modi goes to Israel and Adani gets the contract,” he added.

Gandhi accused Modi of assisting Adani in constructing the idea of a “resurgent Gujarat” and profiting from his elevation as the country’s Prime minister.

“Relationships began many years ago when Narendra Modi was Gujarat’s Chief Minister… one man stood shoulder to shoulder with PM Modi; he was loyal to the PM and assisted Modi in developing the concept of a ‘resurgent Gujarat’. The real magic began when PM Modi reached the national capital in 2014,” Gandhi said.

Gandhi also fired four questions at PM Modi, “How many times have you and Adani travelled abroad together? How many times did Adani join you on your foreign trips? How many times did Adani go to that country immediately after your foreign trip and get a contract? How much money did Adani give to the BJP in electoral bonds?”

The fresh attack on the government came amid the opposition parties’ demand for discussion over investment by LIC, public sector banks, and financial institutions following a report by US-based Hindenburg Research, which made allegations against some companies of the Adani Group.

The Budget Session of Parliament has witnessed a logjam over the Adani issue in the last four days.

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