Is Agnipath hidden agenda of RSS to take control of army, questions former Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy

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Suggesting that the Agnipath scheme may be part of the “hidden agenda” of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), former Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy on Sunday questioned the Centre’s new recruitment policy for the defence forces which has triggered countrywide protests. He also wondered whether the scheme is an attempt by the RSS — the idelogical font of the ruling BJP — to take control of the army on the lines of the Nazi Party in Germany during Adolf Hitler’s time.

Speaking to the media in Ramanagara, the Janata Dal (Secular) leader said: “This is a subject that has to be spoken about in Delhi not here. Who has provided the concept for the Agnipath scheme to the government? Was there a recommendation from a parliamentary committee for this? Was there a proposal to create a new programme called Agnipath to recruit 10 lakh people for the defence forces? Was there a suggestion from the defence establishment? Who has given the suggestion?”

“Among these 10 lakh youths who will be recruited into the forces, will there be candidates who trained in RSS units? Some youths have been trained by the RSS and maintained as workers. Is it a plan to provide them employment in the army? Is it a setup to provide 2.5 lakh of the recruitments to such candidates?” Kumaraswamy asked.

“Is this part of the hidden agenda of the RSS? Would the remaining 75 per cent, who are released after four years of service with Rs 11 lakh each and distributed around the country, become a force of the RSS as well?” he asked.

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“This is a plan to bring the army under the control of the RSS and to use the 75 per cent released after four years to control the country. This is like the Nazi agenda of Hitler and the RSS has its origins in the same period. Is the Agnipath scheme a ploy to introduce such measures in our country by creating Agniveers?” Kumaraswamy asked.

The JDS leader has been a strong vocal critic of the policies of the BJP government in Karnataka of late the most outspoken on discrimination and targetting of minority communities in the state by right-wing groups – including the boycotting of Muslim traders at temple fest, meat merchants and college students wearing religious attire.

The former chief minister is currently touring the state to prepare the JDS for the state assembly polls in 2023 after suffering losses in recent Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council polls in Karnataka.

Earlier this week Kumaraswamy had stated that his father, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, would not contest in the Presidential election in July.

“We have lost many elections and we will not sit quietly due to losses. I will visit villages till August 15 to promote our plans for the state. We want to create an independent government of the JDS in the next polls,” Kumaraswamy said.

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