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Congress distances itself from Manish Tewari over his article on ‘Agnipath’ scheme


The Congress has distanced itself from party MP Manish Tewari over his article that pitched the central government’s ‘Agnipath’ recruitment scheme as a part of defence sector reforms, which is a direct contradiction to the party’s official line of opposing the initiative. On Wednesday, the Congress party’s communication head Jairam Ramesh took to Twitter to oppose Tewari’s stand, and said “Manish Tewari, INC MP, has written an article on Agnipath. While @INCIndia is the only democratic party, it must be said his views are entirely his own & not of the party, which firmly believes Agnipath is anti-national security & anti-youth, bulldozed through without discussion.”

Tewari, however, quickly pointed out that “The tag line of the article does say - The views are personal. I wish @Jairam_Ramesh ji would have read it right till the very end.” This is the second time the party has officially countered Tewari’s stand on the new recruitment model. Earlier this month, Congress spokespersons distanced themselves from Tewari’s tweet supporting the scheme when it was announced. On June 16, Tewari lent his support to ‘Agnipath’ for the first time, soon after the government announced the new recruitment model.

“I do empathise with youth who have concerns over Agnipath recruitment Process.Reality is India needs a younger armed force with lighter human footprint savvy on technology, equipped with state of art weaponry. Armed forces of Union shouldn’t be an employment guarantee programme,” he said.

His position invoked a sharp response from his party colleague and Odisha MP Saptagiri Ulaka, who said, “With due respect instead of Congress’ @ManishTewari mention in the tweet below just @ManishTewari would have sufficed in this context. Clearly our stand on #AgnipathScheme is different & has already been communicated by people responsible.”

Tewari rebutted and said, “Dear @saptagiriulaka ji. You are valued colleague in Lok Sabha. However May I respectfully point out that when you may have been running around in your knickers my dear friend I was actively working for @INCIndia. I would request you to kindly refrain from these snide tweets.”

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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