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Army chief’s appointment: Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi breaks silence, says won’t resign

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eastern Army Commander Lt. Gen. Praveen Bakshi finally broke silence on his resignation on Saturday. “I won’t resign. Extending all support to Lt. Gen. Bipin Rawat,” Lt. Gen. Bakshi said, while addressing the officers of Eastern Command via teleconference.This statement by the Lt. Gen. Bakshi comes in the wake of rumours and speculations doing the rounds that he might resign after being superseded by Lt. Gen. Bipin Rawat as the Army Chief.However, the Defence Ministry is yet to consider Lt. Gen. Bakshi’s name for the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) that could happen in the coming year.Lt. Gen. Bakshi is likely to meet Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in January. Sources in the ministry say Lt. Gen. Bakshi could be offered an appointment outside of the military. Lt. Gen. Bakshi was to be leave till January 1. He joined office on Saturday at the Fort William, the army’s Eastern Command Headquarters.

Bipin Rawat became top contender for chief three months back

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lt General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff-designate, became the top contender for the post when he took over as the Vice Chief three months ago, government sources said. Chances of Lt General Praveen Bakshi, who is senior to Rawat, to helm the Indian Army, were substantially reduced once Rawat took charge as Vice Chief on August 31, 2016.Ironically, Rawat was working under Bakshi in the Eastern Command when he headed the Dimapur-based 3 Corps in the Eastern Sector sometime back.Rawat, played a significant role as the Corps Commander in an operation last year when the Indian Army crossed over to Myanmar targeting the militant group NSCN (K). The strike was planned soon after the army lost 18 men in an attack by the outfit.Rawat’s appointment has triggered a controversy as he has superseded the two officers. Other than Bakshi, Southern Army Commander PM Hariz was also overlooked for the top job. This was the first time since 1983 when an army chief superseded his seniors. In 2014, Admiral RK Dhowan superseded SK Sinha to become the navy chief.Sources said Rawat was chosen over the other two generals keeping in mind his experience in operations in Jammu and Kashmir. In view of the volatile situation in Kashmir after a series of terror strikes, a candidate with sound knowledge of operations there was thought to be the right choice, sources said.”The selection is purely based on merit, irrespective of the corps to which the officer belongs,” said a defence ministry official.Following the appointment of Rawat as the army chief, there is a buzz in the government circles that Bakshi would be suitabley accommodated. The government could appoint him as the Permanent Chairman of the Chief of Staff Committee. Currently, the senior most among the service chiefs holds the post, and there is no provision for a permanent Chairman. However, officials said no decision has been taken yet.The proposed Chief of Defence Staff is also an option but sources say there is little time for creating the position.

CCS to take final decision on Chief of Defence Staff post

New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take the final decision on creating the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and Permanent Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, the defence ministry has told a parliamentary panel.

The ministry told the Committee on Government Assurances that no major political party has responded to the
consultation process initiated by it to obtain their views on creation of the post of CDS.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AFPPrime Minister Narendra Modi. AFP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AFP

In its response to the Assurances Committee, a report of which was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, the defence ministry said a Group of Ministers was set up in April 2000 to review the national security system in entirety and in particular, to consider the recommendations of the Kargil Review Committee and to formulate specific proposals for its implementations.

The GoM in its report submitted to the government in February 2001, recommended the creation of the institution of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).

The government approved the recommendations related to CDS after consultation with political parties as it required a “detailed examination of pros and cons of the proposal”.

The process of consultation was initiated by then defence minister Pranab Mukherjee.

“It is an extremely important and sensitive decision. It was decided that there should be consultations with all
political parties. We had initiated the process in March 2006,” Defence Secretary G Mohan Kumar told the panel.

So far, the opinion of 24 major political parties have been sought.

“We got response from only 10 political parties. Major political parties have not responded. Considering the fact
that this being a national issue, it is necessary that major political parties also give their opinion. But we do not have the fortune or good luck of getting their opinion,” he said.

The ministry also told the panel that the government had set up the Naresh Chandra Task Force on National Security in May 2011 to review the national security management system.

The task force recommended the creation of Permanent Post of Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC).

“Considering that there (are) two proposals for the establishment of the post of CDS and Permanent Chairman, CoSC, it is expected that at the time of a final decision the CCS on the recommendations of the NCTF, both proposals will be taken note of and the final decision, as and when would be taken to settle both the proposals,” the ministry said in its response to the committee.

First Published On : Dec 15, 2016 22:41 IST

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