NEW DELHI: Monday was a day of confusion. While news of General Bipin Rawat getting appointed as the first CDS got confirmed only late-night, senior lawmakers floated congratulatory messages in the afternoon only to delete it later.
Cabinet Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat, Punjab CM Capt. Amarinder Singh used their verified handles on micro-blogging site Twitter to convey their congratulations and good wishes. But all of them except Capt. Amarinder had a change of heart by evening.
The deletion of the message showed them all jumping the gun even before the news was officially disseminated.
Paswan, the Union minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution posted his message at 3:36 pm, saying, “Heartiest congratulations and good wishes to General Bipin Rawat for becoming the first Chief of Defence Staff of country. I believe that the three services as a joint power will be committed to the security of the country under your able leadership”.
Another BJP leader, Trivendra Singh Rawat tweeted, “Heartiest Congratulations to Army Chief General Bipin Rawat for getting nominated as the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). It is a matter of proud for entire Uttarakhand.”
General Bipin Rawat hails from Uttarakhand too. But, within hours these leaders had a rethink and their tweets were deleted. Even the US Ambassador to India Kenneth I Jester sent his congratulations through his Twitter handle but he removed it within a few minutes.
The Appointments Committee of Cabinet takes decision on such important appointments and accordingly the decision is declassified.
A key mandate of the CDS will be to facilitate restructuring of military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about jointness in operations, including through establishment of joint/theatre commands.
Bringing about jointness in logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three services will also be a major mandate.
General Rawat’s military career
Gen. Rawat assumed charge as Chief of Army Staff on December 31, 2016.
An alumnus of St Edward School, Shimla, and the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, he was commissioned into the 11th Gorkha Rifles in December 1978.
Gen Rawat is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, the Higher Command and National Defence College courses and, has attended the Command and General Staff Course at Fort Leavenworth, the US.