LT GENERAL BIPIN RAWAT HAS BEEN PICKED UP IGNORING TWO SENIOR OFFICERS, LT GEN PRAVEEN BAKSHI AND LT GENERAL PM HARIZ
NEW DELHI — The appointment of vice-chief of army staff Lieutenant Genera Bipin Rawat as the new Indian Army chief has triggered political controversy, with both Congress and the Left Front questioning the government’s decision to supersede two officers senior to him – Lt General Praveen Bakshi and Lt General PM Hariz, the chief of Southern Command, reported NDTV.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said while every organisation has its own decorum, there is respect for seniority. “We don’t question the new chief Lieutenant General Rawat’s abilities but the question arises why senior people were superseded and the fourth in line has been named as new Army chief,” Tiwari added.
CPI leader D Raja said it was unfortunate that the appointments in the army, CVC (Chief Vigilance Commissioner) and other top level appointment have become controversial.
“The army belongs to the whole country… the government should answer how these appointment have been made,” Raja said, adding that the nation should be “convinced” about the appointment.
The BJP hit back, saying questioning the appointment of the next army chief by political parties was not patriotic. The party’s spokesperson, GVL Narasimha Rao said such comments will “hurt the morale” of the armed forces. “We condemn the attempt to drag armed forces into political arena… These comments are something that no political that believes in patriotism should indulge in,” Rao added.
The appointment of Lt Gen Rawat had been done by skipping Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi, the seniormost army commander who heads the Eastern Command and PM Hariz, the chief of Southern Command.
Sources in the government said Lt Gen Rawat was found to be the most suitable to deal with the current challenges- cross-border terror, the proxy war from the west, and the situation in the northeast.
Lt Gen Rawat, they said, has served in combat areas over the last three decades. He has more than a decade’s experience in counter insurgency operations and deployment along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
He has also commanded the Dimapur-based 3 Corps, which was involved in taking out insurgent camps in Myanmar. He was also a Colonel commanding a battalion on the China front and has handled various operational responsibilities along the Line of Actual Control.