Govt. can't brush aside considerations like seniority, competence: NCP on Army Chief's appointment

| Updated: Dec 18, 2016 17:14 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec. 18 (ANI): The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Sunday said the appointment of Army Chief is the prerogative of the government, but added that the ruling dispensation cannot brush aside considerations like seniority, competence and integrity. NCP leader Majeed Memon, who was reacting to the government's move to appoint Lieutenant General Bipin Rawat as the new Army Chief overlooking a tradition of elevating senior-most officers as service chiefs, said it seems the Centre has taken a chance with the view that perhaps he bears all these requisitive qualities. "The Army Chief's appointment is a prerogative of the government, but you cannot just brush aside all considerations like seniority, competence, integrity and the degree, services and performances that are expected from a man who is incumbent," Memon told ANI. "The Army Chief , RAW chief, CBI chief, these are all vitally important positions where we expect the service to the nation and Indian society must be up to the mark, otherwise we suffer either externally or internally," he added. The government earlier on Saturday announced the name of Lieutenant General Rawat as the new Chief of Army Staff and Air Marshal B.S. Dhanoa as the new Chief of Air Staff. Lieutenant General Rawat, who took over as the Army vice-chief in September 2016, bypassed Eastern Command chief Lieutenant General Praveen Bakshi (armoured corps) and Southern Army Command chief Lieutenant General PM Hariz (mechanised infantry). Lieutenant General Rawat has remarkable experience of serving in combat areas and at various functional levels in the Indian Army over the last three decades. He has handled various operational responsibilities in many areas, including along the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and in the North-East. He is known for his balanced approach towards soldiering, compassion, and his connect with the civil society. According to sources, Lieutenant General Rawat was found the best suited to deal with emerging challenges, including a reorganized and restructured military force in the north; continuing terrorism and proxy war from the west and the situation in the North-East. Air Marshal Dhanoa, who will replace Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, was commissioned into the fighter stream of the Air Force in June 1978. He has served in various squadrons, and also in the Intelligence Directorate of Air Headquarters. (ANI)