Goa’s lone Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik on Saturday said India needs a “full time” defence minister considering the threat perception to the nation from the neighbouring countries.
“The threats given by China and the killings of our soldiers on the border with Pakistan demand that India should have a full time defence minister,” the Congress leader said.
“Chinese threat is looming large along the Sino-India border. Indians have been denied permission to visit the Kailash Mansarovar (through Nathu La). China is reminding us of the 1962 war,” he said in an e-mail to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took additional charge of the Defence Ministry in March after incumbent defence minister Manohar Parrikar stepped down to go back to Goa as Chief Minister.
“The absence of a full time defence minister, with one bureaucrat, Ajit Doval (the National Security Advisor), running the defence ministry, has further encouraged the Chinese to believe that India cannot do anything beyond empty rhetoric,” he alleged.
Naik also criticised the GST rollout celebrations saying, “Your (the Centre’s) focus in celebrating the GST regime and fooling the people, just as the government did during demonetisation, will not help the nation.”