India to have Chief of Defence Staff overseeing all three armed forces

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 15, 2019 Published on August 15, 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort in New Delhi on Thursday, on the occasion of Independence Day   -  Kamal Narang

In Independence Day speech, Modi also unveils ₹3.5-lakh cr Jal Jeevan Mission; says huge decisions were taken in 10 weeks

In his sixth consecutive Independence Day address as Prime Minister, and the first in his second term, Narendra Modi said his government will invest ₹100-lakh crore to create modern infrastructure. This will not only generate employment, but also create new systems that can meet people’s aspirations, he said.

The creation of a new post — Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) — to oversee all the three forces, the rollout of a Jal Jeevan Mission with an outlay of ₹3.5-lakh crore to tackle drinking water problems, and plans for modern health infrastructure are among the major announcements made by Modi at the celebrations at the Red Fort to mark India’s 72nd anniversary of Independence.

“Notwithstanding despondent attitudes, ordinary people always dream of a good system. They like good things; they have developed a taste for it. Be it the Sagarmala Project or Bharat Mala Project, modern railway stations, bus stations or airports, modern hospitals or world-class educational institutions, we want to develop the entire infrastructure. Now the country also requires seaports. Ordinary people have changed and we have to understand that,” the Prime Minister said.

The CDS will provide an effective leadership to the three forces at the top level, he asserted. “The CDS system is a very important and compelling task for our dream to reform the strategic pace of Hindustan in the world.”

The PM said his government has taken several pathbreaking decisions over the past 10 weeks. “This includes decisions for Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, the end of Triple Talaq, and steps for the welfare of farmers and traders,” he said.

Stating that the fundamentals of the economy are strong, Modi said making India a $5-trillion economy must become the dream of every Indian. He further said his government does not believe in creating problems or prolonging them.

“In less than 70 days of the new government, Article 370 has become history, and in both Houses of Parliament, two-third of the members supported this step,” the PM said.

One Nation, One Constitution

Maintaining that the Centre wants to serve Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, he said the spirit of One Nation, One Constitution has become a reality.

Attacking the Opposition, Modi said the country is asking those who supported Article 370 why it was not made permanent if it was so important. “After all, those people had large mandates and could have removed the temporary status of Article 370,” he pointed out.

‘Lying at Red Fort’

The Congress, however, questioned these claims. Stating that the Prime Minister had lied at Red Fort, the party said in a series of tweets that the concept of One Nation, One Constitution has been ripped to shreds by Modi and his government. “The unilateral and undemocratic manner in which Article370 was abrogated and J&K was dismembered is deplorable. One shudders at the thought of what this ‘democratic’ government will do next,” the party said.

Modi has ruined the economy, it further said. “Today Modi ji can proudly call India a $3-trillion economy because of the sustained efforts of Indians, the prudent five year plans & the success of previous governments. Basically, the economy was handed over to Modi on a silver platter & he still managed to ruin it,” it said.

Published on August 15, 2019
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