Nothing new, Chief of Defence Staff pending for long, long time, says Congress on Modi's announcement

The creation of the CDS post was first recommended soon after the 1999 Kargil War with Pakistan but it could not be done over the years.

Published: 16th August 2019 08:10 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th August 2019 08:10 PM   |  A+A-

Abhishek Manu Singhvi

Congress senior party leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi (File | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Friday said there was "nothing new" in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day announcement on creation of the post of the Chief of Defence Staff as this decision was on the anvil for a "long, long time".

"The prime minister knows well, the country knows well, that this policy in the making has been on the anvil for a long, long time and it was in fact first mooted largely during Congress regime.

So there is nothing new in it," Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.

ALSO READ: PM Modi announces creation of Chief of Defence Staff for better synergy among armed forces

"It was in fact part of our manifesto as well," Singhvi added.

The prime minister on Thursday announced India will have a CDS to strengthen synergy among the tri-services.

A CDS, as the head of the tri-services, acts as a single-point advisor to the Central government in matters relating to the defence services and national security.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves at the crowd during 73rd Independence Day function at the historic Red Fort in New Delhi Thursday August 15 2019. | PTI

The creation of the CDS post was first recommended soon after the 1999 Kargil War with Pakistan but it could not be done over the years.

"We had at one point of time, in fact, criticised the (BJP) government for the delay in making it and we are, therefore, happy as far as the principle is concerned," Singhvi told reporters.

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"However, you need to see the flesh, blood and bones of that principle in operational reality.

And we reserve our right to comment at that stage, but, otherwise yes, there is nothing exceptional in principle as such," he said.

Prime Minister Modi has said the time has come for the landmark military reform to enhance synergy among the Army, the Navy and the Air Force to deal with security challenges facing India.

"To further sharpen coordination between the forces, I want to announce a major decision from the Red Fort: India will have a Chief of Defence Staff- CDS.

This is going to make the forces even more effective," he said.

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