Formation of a government is entirely Governor’s prerogative
New Delhi, Nov 24: Rajnath Singh, said it was the prerogative of the governor to invite a party to form a government.
The comments came after BJP's Devendra Fadnavis and NCP leader Ajit Pawar took oath as the Maharashtra chief minister and deputy chief minister respectively on Saturday. The unexpected development took place a day after Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray emerged as the Sena-NCP-Congress' consensus candidate for the top post.
"At this point of time in this programme, I do not wish to make any political statement. It was the prerogative of the governor," the Defence Minister said at an event in Lucknow.
"The governor invited the person (to form the government) after he was satisfied."
Later, in a tweet, he congratulated Fadnavis and Pawar for taking oath.
"Congratulations to Shri @Dev_Fadnavis and Shri Ajit Pawar on taking oath as the chief minister and deputy chief minister of Maharashtra. I am extremely confident that they will jointly work for the progress and prosperity of the state."
At the 172nd Defence Pension Adalat, Singh paid tributes to ex-servicemen and their families in Lucknow.
Addressing a gathering at the AMC Stadium, he said, "We are proud of the jawans and equally proud of our ex-servicemen. I know that even today, there are many ex-servicemen, who if the need arises, can discharge their duty with the same level of confidence. I am assured of this," he said.
The defence minister visited various stalls set up at the stadium and also interacted with former servicemen and their widows.
He said Uttar Pradesh was the birthplace of war heroes and bravehearts like Captain Manoj Pandey and Company Quartermaster Havildar Abdul Hamid.
"It is a matter of pride for us. The entire nation will remain indebted to Army jawans who laid down their lives in defence of the country. We cannot free ourselves from this debt by extending any amount of facilities to their families."
"As far as defence pension is concerned, the process from acceptance to its disbursement is complicated. There may be some mistakes. The pension may not be what you are entitled for. A decision was made to hold pension adalats at different places in the country, so that our veterans do not face any tension and their pension is timely sanctioned," the minister added.
He said ex-servicemen were not just pensioners or veterans, but a source of inspiration for the country. This Defence Pension Adalat is a small step in that direction, he said.
"It is for the first time that any defence minister has come to attend this type of programme. There may be a question in people's mind that when no one came earlier, then why did I come? I have come because the respect, which I accord to on-duty personnel of the Army, Navy and Air Force, the same quantum of respect, I give to the ex-servicemen," Singh said.
"After I assumed the office of defence minister, on the second day itself I expressed my wish to visit Siachen to the chief of Army staff, so that I could see for myself the situation in which our jawans discharge their duties. For the first time, I came to know that the jawans there do not shave their beards. After boosting their morale, when I returned, I wrote a letter to their parents or wives and expressed my respect, stating that we are proud of families like you," he said.
The defence minister on this occasion also said that the country is touching heights today, and the biggest contribution is of the Army. "If the country is not secured, then its development is not possible," he said.
He expressed happiness that youths are eager to join the armed forces, and "every part of the country I visit, there is a request that recruitment camps for Army should be organised. This despite the fact that after joining one may have face bullets, bombs and terrorists," he said.
Singh said that during the freedom struggle, Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Khudiram Bose and Ashfaqullah Khan were inspired by nationalistic self-respect due to which they embraced capital punishment while smiling.
"Our government implemented One Rank, One Pension after a few months of forming the government. The issue had been lingering for nearly 30-40 years," he said.
The event was organised by Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions), Allahabad in coordination with Headquarters Central Command.
The Defence Pension Adalat aims at redressal of pension related grievances of veterans of Armed Forces and their next of kin residing in the all districts of Uttar Pradesh. Controller General Defence Accounts (CGDA) Sanjeev Mittal said that Defence Accounts Department is going digital.
A comprehensive pension portal is about to be launched to address all pension-related grievances at one platform, a statement issued by the Defence PRO said.
Later, the defence minister interacted with members of FICCI women cell. "Women entrepreneurship has to be promoted in a big way when India aspires to be a five trillion dollar economy. Without active participation of women workforce this dream cannot be fully realised," he tweeted.