Terrorists and goons had been "hired" by political parties to stage violent protests against the Agnipath defense recruitment scheme, a BJP minister of Bihar alleged on Tuesday. Ram Surat Rai, who holds the revenue portfolio, made the statement a day after his party colleague and MLA Haribhushan Thakur Bachaul blamed the protests on "jihadis” opposed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Although he did not name any party, BJP leaders like Union minister Giriraj Singh have accused the opposition RJD of being behind the violence and arson in the state last week. The saffron party's stance has met with disapproval from its ally, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), which claims that the protests against the Agnipath scheme were spontaneous.
Several states including Bihar witnessed violent protests after the announcement of the new model that seeks to recruit youths between the age bracket of 17-and-half years to 21 for only four years with a provision to retain 25 percent of them for 15 more years. For 2022, the upper age limit has been extended to 23 years.