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'Started on Wrong Foot': Congress Questions 'Ambiguities' in General Bipin Rawat's Role as CDS

Congress national spokesperson Manish Tewari.

Congress national spokesperson Manish Tewari.

In a series of tweets, Congress leader Manish Tewari wondered if the CDS as Permanent Chairperson of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee outranks the three service Chiefs.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: January 2, 2020, 10:34 PM IST
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New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday raised several questions over the appointment of General Bipin Rawat as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), saying the government had started on the "wrong foot" on the issue.

In a series of tweets, party spokesperson Manish Tewari said only time would unfortunately reveal the implications of the move. "With great regret and fullest of responsibility may I say that the Govt has started on a very wrong foot with regard to CDS. Time alone unfortunately will reveal the implications of this decision," he said on Twitter.

He also asked why the appointment of a CDS is fraught with difficulties and ambiguities. "What implications does nomenclature Principal Military Advisor to Defense 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 questioned on Twitter.

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.


General Bipin Rawat, who on Monday demitted office as Army chief, will officially take over as India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) who will act as the principal military adviser to the defence minister on all matters relating to tri-services on Wednesday.


A key mandate of the CDS will be to facilitate restructuring of military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about joint-ness in operations, including through establishment of joint/theatre commands.

Officials said bringing about 'joint-ness' in operation, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three services within three years will be another major mandate of the CDS.


The tri-service agencies, organisations and commands relating to cyber and space will be under the command of the CDS and he will also function as the Military Adviser to the Nuclear Command Authority.

The CDS will also be member of Defence Acquisition Council chaired by the defence minister and Defence Planning Committee chaired by the NSA.

A high-level committee set up to examine the gaps in the country's security system in the wake of the Kargil war in 1999 had called for appointment of a CDS as a single-point military adviser to the defence minister.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the creation of the CDS post in his Independence Day speech this year.

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