Cabinet committee on security may see rejig

Cabinet committee on security may see rejig

Cabinet committee on security may see rejig

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is likely to resign from the Narendra Modi Cabinet before he takes oath as the next Goa chief minister.

The probable exit of Parrikar and poor health condition of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is indicative of new faces in the Cabinet Committee on Security, which takes most of the strategic decisions of the government. The ministers of defence, external affairs, finance and home, along with the prime ,minister form the CCS.

Parrikar was drafted in the Ministry of Defence in November 2014 to take over from Arun Jaitley who handled the defence portfolio for six months, along with his principal responsibility as the finance minister.

Though the BJP leader from Goa is yet to resign from the defence ministry, addressing a press conference in Panaji, Parrikar, along with his cabinet colleague Nitin Gadkari, made it clear that he would resign once he received a call from the Goa governor to form a government.

For most part of his tenure in the South Block, Parrikar never lost touch with Goa’s politics, travelling to the coastal state almost every weekend. He publicly rued how he missed Goan food and lost four kilograms since he settled in Delhi.

Finding a suitable replacement for Parrikar would be a priority for the Modi government because of some of the key reforms he initiated in the defence sector; the most ground-breaking being the strategic partnership model.

For the first time in independent India, the strategic partnership model would allow big private corporations to be involved in manufacturing crucial heavy duty weapons like combat jets, warships, submarines, helicopters and artillery guns. Defence manufacturing so far remains an exclusive domain of the state-owned units.

Parrikar was in-charge when Indian Army carried out the surgical strike on terror camps across India’s disputed border with Pakistan. He also oversaw the implementation of one rank, one pension scheme, which led to substantial increase in the pension of the military personnel.