'Lt. Gen Rawat's selection as CoAS is based purely on merit'

| Updated: Dec 19, 2016 02:12 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec. 18 (ANI): The Government of India on Sunday said the appointment of the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) is based purely on merit from a panel of officers in the rank of Army Commanders, irrespective of the Corps to which the officer originally belonged. Ministry of Defence sources said the government further said all officers in the panel are very competent officers and the most suitable among them is selected, but emphasised that the prerogative of selecting the most eligible from the panel is that of the government. The Centre has been drawing flaks from opposition parties, especially from the Congress, for superseding two senior officers - Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi, the senior most army commander, who heads the Eastern Command, and PM Hariz, the chief of Southern Command, - for appointing Vice-Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Bipin Rawat as the Chief of the Army Staff. The government of the day takes the final decision choosing the most suitable officer based on various aspects of the security situation in the country and the future scenario, said sources, adding that in the current security situation, counterterrorism and counter insurgency are key issues, therefore, the background and operational experience of the officers on the panel were considered in depth while selecting the next COAS. Lt Gen Bipin Rawat fulfils criteria by virtue of his operational assignments as Commanding Officer of 19 Division in Jammu and Kashmir and his outstanding track record, said sources, adding that his familiarity with the functioning of the Army Headquarters and the Ministry of Defence in his capacity as Vice Chief and his general dynamism has also played a role in tipping the scales in his favour.(ANI)