New Delhi: As the year nears its end and at a time when the nation is discussing some of the important decisions taken by the Central government, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in an exclusive conversation with NewsX spoke on — Demonetisation, Army Chief appointment, surgical strikes. The minister in a no-holds-barred interview spoke on all the concerned issues and explained the government’s stand.
Here are some of the responses by the Defence Minister on the various issues:
On controversy over Army Chief’s appointment:
The selection has taken place per procedure and norms. There has been no violation of procedural aspects.
On 1-2-1 meeting between him and Lt Gen Bakshi:
I had called him to see me. I explained to him the rationale behind the decision and made it very clear that it is not that there is something lacking about him. He sounded convinced. He had indicated to me that he’ll go on leave.
On will the government consider accommodating superseded Lt Gen Pravin Bakshi by appointing governor or ambassador:
We are taking all these aspects into consideration. Once he resumes I’ll have a detailed discussion with him and take his view.
On 1st CDS of the country:
Will make a presentation to Prime Minister in January. The current situation where the senior most is the chairman of the committee is a very weak arrangement. A CDS has to be a different identity; CDS likely in 2017.
On surgical strikes
The surgical strike was never a one-stroke solution for the terror attack. Surgical was done to establish the principle of uncertainty (retaliation from India). Surgical strikes will have a long-term impact. Surgical strikes are not by itself a solution to the scenario (terror). Pakistan must realise the cost of cross-border violations.
On PM Modi in DGMO during surgical strike:
Yes we had prepared a presentation just before the strike.
There has been a definit impact on terror funding; fake currency got curtailed completely. Nothing is 100℅ but the quantum is much less. Can’t reveal PM Modi’s post demonitisation announcement. I expect a big push on housing for all.
Had people not accepted demonitisation, there would have been riots. 70℅ impact of demonitisation is already neutralised. Remaining 30℅ in next few weeks. People have accepted demonitisation.
On implementation of demonetisation:
Yes, I would concede that a couple of steps by RBI could have been avoided.
On UP polls:
We will form government in Uttar Pradesh. One party (SP) is busy in their internal ‘war’, while the oher party (BSP) is busy explaining the source of money to the officials.
(WATCH the exclusive interview for details.)