Congress wants answers on supersession for new army chief’s appointment

The central goverment appointed Air Marshal BS Dhanoa as new chief of the Air Force on Saturday

Congress wants answers on supersession for new army chief’s appointment

The Central government announcement of  Lt General Bipin Rawat as the new Army Chief, superceding his two senior officers, has ended in controversy after Congress demanded an answer from the government over the decision.

Besides the appointment of new chief of the Indian Army , the goverment appointed Air Marshal BS Dhanoa as new chief of the Air Force on Saturday. Rajiv Jain will be the new IB chief, while Anil Dhasmana new head RAW.


"Why has seniority not been respected in appointment of Army Chief? Why have Lt. Gen. Pravin Bakshi and Lt Gen Mohamed Ali Hariz been superseded, Mr PM (Narendra Modi)?" Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari asked.





The Left Front also questioned the government's decision to appoint Bipin Rawat as the new chief.

Stating it was unfortunate that the appointments in the army, CPI leader D Raja said: "The army belongs to the whole country... the government should answer how these appointments have been made," NDTV reported.

By appointing Rawat as new Army, government has superseded two senior generals, an unprecedented convention in the Army since 1980’s, when Lt Gen SK Sinha has been superseded to appoint Gen AS Vaidya.



The Centre again overlooked seniority when it should have Eastern Army commander Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi would have been appointed as new Army Chief,  replacing the outgoing Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh, who will be retiring on December 31.

Bakshi should have led the Army in the event of Dalbir’s retirement and Southern Army commander Lt Gen PM Hariz as his immediate subordinating officer, reported Hindustan Times on Saturday. According to reports, there were signs that Centre will not be following service norms in the appointment of Army Chief.

Rawat is currently serving as the vice-chief of the Army, while Dhanoa is his counterpart in the Indian Air Force. However,  Dhanoa’s appointment has been much expected in the defense quarters, while that of Army chief has surprised many. Dhanoa will be succeeding Arup Raha, as air marshal on December 31.

Dhanoa’s appointment is on expected lines, as he will be the senior-most air marshal when IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha retires on December 31.