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. The Congress summed up 2019 saying it will be remembered for the betrayal of the people's mandate and attempts to rip apart the plural fabric of India.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said 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,” Tewari said.
He also asked why the appointment of a CDS is fraught with difficulties and ambiguities. “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,” he asked.
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 Defense Minister through Defense Secretary or through CDS now,” he asked.
“What will be the position of CDS qua Defense Secretary? Would the Defense Secretary in terms of Rule 11 of Transaction of Business Rules continue to be the administrative head of the Defense 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,” questioned the former Union Minister.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said 2019 is coming to an end but the problems of NDA 3 are only beginning. “2019 will remembered for the betrayal of the people's mandate and attempts to rip apart India's plural fabric. 2019 will be remembered for the resilience of our students and common citizens who challenged an arrogant and a powerful government for its unconstitutional moves,” Patel said in a tweet message.
Patel also hoped that 2020 will see a resurgence and coming together of “pro-Constitution and pro-India forces and defeat this government's anti-Indian policies”.
Another senior party leader P Chidambaram said, “Our task is no less than the task accomplished by Abraham Lincoln in 1865 - to save the Constitution.”
He also said that their first greetings for the New Year must go to J-K leaders Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and others detained since August 5 without any charge. “May the New Year bring them freedom and justice,” he tweeted.