NEW DELHI: PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the creation of the Department of Military Affairs and institutionalisation of the post of CDS were “momentous reforms” while Home Minister Amit Shah termed it as a historic moment for the country. The comments came after the appointment of General Bipin Rawat as CDS came in for criticism by the opposition parties, with Congress leaders raising several questions and saying the government had started on a “wrong foot”. Congratulating Gen Rawat for his appointment as CDS, PM Modi praised him as an outstanding officer who had served India with great zeal. The ‘institution’ of CDS carried tremendous responsibility of modernising the military forces, and reflecting the “hopes and aspirations” of 1.3 billion Indians, Modi said. He also paid homage to those who “served and laid down their lives for our nation”. Shah said the appointment of CDS would further the government’s efforts towards ensuring welfare of personnel of all three services.
Congress turns cautious
A day after two Congress leaders criticised the appointment of Gen Rawat as CDS, the party distanced itself from their comments saying it does not oppose steps taken to strengthen the country’s security. Party spokesperson Sushmita Dev refused to comment on remarks by Manish Tewari and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. The latter had tweeted saying the government had “certainly taken all his performances into cognisance including his ideological predilection”.