Congress has questioned the appointment of Lt General Bipin Rawat as the new Army Chief, who supercede seniormost Lt Generals, Praveen Bakshi and P M Hariz. Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari, conducting a press conference, asked why the seniority of the other two Lt. Generals were not respected.
“With all due respect to General Rawat’s professionalism and brilliance as a soldier and no personal animosity to anybody, there is a legitimate question as to why has this supersession taken place. After all, Lt. Gen Praveen Bakshi who commands the Eastern Command, the Southern Army Commander Lt. Gen Mohammed Ali and the Central Army Commander are all senior to the gentleman who is being designated,” Tewari was quoted as saying by ANI.
This is only the second time in history that a General will supersede other. In 1983, Lt Gen S K Sinha was overlooked for the post in favour of Gen A S Vaidya. Gen Rawat, who is currently Vice Chief of Army Staff, will take over as the 26th Chief after Gen Dalbir Singh retires on December 31.
“Every situation has its own context and therefore nothing can be extrapolated out of context in order to justify supersession. Why were these three senior army commanders superseded? Did the government have anything against them? Was their professionalism in question? What was the reason that the fourth incumbent was picked and I guess the Army being a public institution the country deserves those answers,” Tewari added.
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Lt General Bipin Rawat is currently the Vice Chief of the Army Staff (VCOS). Prior to taking over as the VCOAS, Lt Gen Bipin Rawat tenanted the appointment of the GOC-in-C, Southern Command. Gen Rawat, who is currently Vice Chief of Army Staff, will take over as the 26th Chief after Gen Dalbir Singh retires on December 31.