Union minister and BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Choubey on Thursday urged students protesting against the Agnipath scheme to stop their agitation and keep away from those inciting them, as he asserted that the initiative is in the interests of them, armed forces and the country.
Mr Choubey, a senior party leader from Bihar where protests started first on Wednesday, also claimed that some people are using students for their own political gains, an apparent reference to opposition parties which have criticised the scheme for short-term contractual employment in the armed forces as soldiers.
In a statement, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi always thinks and works for the welfare of the youth and the nation.
"We assure you that this programme is a constructive step to bring in long-term positive results. Lakhs of youngsters will not only benefit from this but nationalistic sentiments within them will also be strengthened," Mr Choubey said.
Those selected under the scheme will get priority in central and state government jobs, he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)