Govt has started on the wrong foot: Congress questions Gen Rawat's appointment as Chief of Defence Staff

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari on Tuesday said that the government has started on a wrong foot when it came to the appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), and added that only time will unfortunately reveal the implications.

Army chief General Bipin Rawat was recently appointed as India's first Chief of the Defence Staff, the principal military adviser to Defence Minister and will also head the new Department of Military Affairs, the government said on Monday.

The Congress however has raised several questions over the appointment of Gen Rawat.

Earlier, on Monday, Tewari had written on Twitter that it was with "great regret and fullest of responsibility" that he believed the government had "started on a very wrong foot with regard to CDS".

He elaborated further in a series of tweets the next day, wondering why the appointment of a CDS was "fraught with difficulties & ambiguities".

"What implications does nomenclature Principal Military Advisor to Defense Minister have in relation to the three service chief’s in terms of Military advise tendered to the government?" 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.

Army chief General Bipin Rawat who demited office on Tuesday, was also appointed as the CDS on the same day.

Last week, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram had slammed the Army Chief for his remarks on the protesters who are opposing the Citizenship Act.

The Congress leader said "Mind your own business" while addressing a rally on the party foundation day which was organised by the Kerala Congress.

Chidambaram also alleged that the Army Chief and DGP of UP has been asked to support the government which is a shameful act. The Congress leaders have slammed the army chief for his political comments.

"Now the Army General has been asked to speak up, is it the job of the Army Chief", said Chidambaram.

(With inputs from agencies)

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