Bareilly: Alleging Uttar Pradesh government was working in an autocratic manner, senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan on Saturday said he and his family members were even accused of stealing goats.

The Rampur MLA also attacked the BJP-led central government over the ‘Agnipath’ scheme saying that it is quite evident as how beneficial it is for the youth who are agitating over it.

“Dictatorship will be better than the present situation prevailing in the state. The state government is working in an autocratic manner,” the SP leader who recently got released from jail following the Supreme Court order told newspersons at the Bareilly airport here.

“Allegations like having stolen hen and goat, robbing a liquor shop were levelled against me and my family. In such a situation, you yourself can understand the level of the government’s functioning ,” Khan, who had been in Sitapur Jail for 27 months, said.

On the way to Varanasi, the SP leader said,”the treatment given to my city, my district and my loved ones, I can bet no government in the world would have treated any political leader so badly. No government would have fallen so low to lodge cases such as robbing liquor shops and theft of Rs 16 thousand rupees from my college,” he said.

To a question on the ‘Agnipath’ scheme, he said “All know as to who will benefit from the Agnipath scheme. Everyone knows the whole country is burning.” “It is clear from the circumstances what interest of youth the ‘Agnipath’ scheme will serve,” he added. The Centre on Saturday announced several incentives including reserving 10 per cent vacancies in its paramilitary and the defence ministry for Agnipath retirees and said it will look into any grievance about the new military recruitment scheme “with an open mind”, even as violent protests raged on in many states and opposition parties stepped up pressure for a rollback.

Unveiling the scheme on Tuesday, the government said youths between the ages of 17-and-a-half and 21 years would be inducted for a four-year tenure while 25 per cent of the recruits will be retained for regular service. The upper age limit was raised to 23 years on Thursday.

The new scheme for the recruitment of soldiers in the Army, Navy and Air Force was projected by the government as a major overhaul of the decades-old selection process to enhance the youthful profile of the three services. —PTI 



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