Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement on Thursday that the country will now have a chief of defence staff (CDS) to “bring synergy in functioning of the Army, Navy and Air Force,” is not the only promise made by a public representative on India’s 73rd Independence Day.
From promising to make governance more responsive, to announcing plans that would end up creating job opportunities, chief ministers of several states utilised their podium on August 15, to highlight issues and make fresh announcements.
Most unfurled the national flag at state-level functions, inspected parades by police and paramilitary forces, and listed various achievements of their respective governments in their speeches.
In the first Independence Day celebration after the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, governor Satya Pal Malik said the identity of people of the state was neither at stake and nor had it been tampered with after the Centre’s move.
The issue of Article 370 found an echo in the northeast with several chief ministers assuring the people that the special status guaranteed to them in the constitution would not be tinkered with.
“I assure the people of my state that the provisions of Article 371-H will continue to stay in force and the same had been categorically assured in parliament by the Centre,” Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu said, after unfurling the tricolour at Indira Gandhi Park in Itanagar.
He said the provisions enshrined in Article 371 of the Constitution are aimed at “protecting the economic and cultural interests” of some states, including Arunachal Pradesh.