Minutes after the announcement of General Bipin Rawat as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Opposition Congress leader on Monday questioned the Modi government’s move. Slamming the appointment, Congress Lok Sabha MP from Punjab and spokesperson Manish Tewari said in a tweet that the government had started on a “very wrong foot”.

“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”, Manish Tewari tweeted.

Tewari questioned the job profile of the newly created position of the CDS, saying “Why is 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 chief’s in terms of Military advice tendered to the government?”

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

“File for the appointment of India’s first CDS was cleared by Appointment Committee of Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday morning,” said a senior government officer, privy to the decision-making process.

Tewari further asked, “What will be the position of CDS qua Defense Secretary? Would the Defense Secretary in terms of Rule 11 of Transaction of Business Rules continue to be the administrative head of the Defense Ministry? What is the remit/ mandate of the proposed Department of Military Affairs?”

General Bipin Rawat has been appointed as country’s first Chief of Defence Staff from Tuesday. He will be holding the post till 65 years of his age which is March 31, 2023.

Last week, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram 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.