Govt has started on wrong foot on CDS appointment: Congress

PTI New Delhi | Updated on December 31, 2019 Published on December 31, 2019

A file photo of Manish Tewari

The Congress on Tuesday raised several questions over the appointment of Gen Bipin Rawat as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), saying the government has started on a “wrong foot” on the issue. The party also asked whether the country was headed on a portentous path.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said that the government has started on a wrong foot on the appointment, and only time will unfortunately reveal the implications. “With great regret and fullest of responsibility, may I say that the government has started on a very wrong foot with regard to CDS. Time alone unfortunately will reveal the implications of this decision,” he said on Twitter.

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He also asked why the appointment of a CDS is fraught with difficulties and ambiguities. He asked, “What implications does nomenclature Principal Military Advisor to Defence Minister have in relation to the three service chiefs in terms of Military advise tendered to the government? Will the advise of the CDS override the advise of the respective Service Chiefs?”

Tewari wondered if the CDS as Permanent Chairperson of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee outrank the three service Chiefs. “Would the three Chiefs report to Defence Minister through Defence Secretary or through CDS now,” he asked.

“What will be the position of CDS qua Defence Secretary? Would the Defence Secretary in terms of Rule 11 of Transaction of Business Rules continue to be the administrative head of the Defence Ministry? What is the remit/mandate of the proposed Department of Military Affairs?”

“Would the CDS overide the Service Chiefs with regard tri-service agencies and organisations. What are the implications of the appointment of a CDS on Civil Military Relations- the equilibrium of which has been India’s singular Success since 1947? Are we down a portentous path,” he questioned.

Published on December 31, 2019
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