Kolkata: Putting to rest all speculation about his resignation, Eastern Army Commander lieutenant general Praveen Bakshi assured his full support to General Bipin Rawat, who took charge as the new army chief superseding him.
“I convey my best wishes and full support of Eastern Command to Gen. Bipin Rawat on having taken over as the Chief of Army Staff,” Bakshi said on Saturday. He also made it clear that he was not resigning, and even called the new army chief on the phone to congratulate him on taking over the reins of the army, an official said.
Speculation that he may seek premature retirement from service gained ground after he met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on 21 December and then proceeded on leave after Christmas.
Bakshi was initially the frontrunner for the post of army chief. However, keeping aside the trend of seniority, the government appointed vice-chief of army, lieutenant general Bipin Rawat, a batch junior to Bakshi, as the new chief.
The army commander requested that speculation in media and trolling on social media should stop and everyone should focus on contributing their best to the betterment of the army and the nation.
At a function here on new year’s eve, he greeted all ranks of Army’s Eastern Command and said he would continue to lead the Command with full professional sincerity. He, however, continues to be on leave for the next few days.
First Published On : Dec 31, 2016 16:48 IST
Tue, 27 Dec 2016-11:30pm , Kolkata , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speculation about Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi, who has been superseded by Lt Gen Bipin Rawat as the next Army Chief, taking premature retirement heightened on Tuesday after he proceeded on leave.Army sources, however, said Lt Gen Bakshi is on a pre-scheduled three-day leave and is expected to resume duties on December 30, a day before Lt Gen Rawat takes over as the new Army Chief.There has been speculation that Lt Gen Bakshi may take premature retirement. He had recently met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, fuelling speculation about his possible resignation.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress leader Satyvrat Chaturvedi appeared to go against his party’s line on Monday, when he said that the final decision in the selection of the army chief lies in the hands of the government of the day.”Seniority is an important consideration, but it is not the only consideration. Qualification is also an important factor. So, the government must have taken the decision considering all factors. I feel that the present man appointed is a general and he a past record. All these things must have been thought about,” Senior Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi told ANI.Chaturvedi insisted that politics and defence should be kept apart in the national interest.
ALSO READ Rawat appointment row: Never played politics with Army like BJP, won’t ever do it, says Congress”In terms of the appointment of the army chief, controversy cannot be welcomed. The decision of what is supreme for national interest is taken by the ruling government. Army and politics should be like two poles apart. I don’t find it right to play politics over national security, he said.”I am in favour of keeping this issue away from any controversy. I don’t want to comment on it,”he added.
ALSO READ Army chief appointment: Govt cites Rawat’s track record to blunt opposition’s attack The Centre has attracted criticism from the opposition parties for choosing Lieutenant General Bipin Rawat as the next army chief, for superseding two senior officers ? Lt. Gen. Praveen Bakshi, the senior most army commander, who heads the Eastern Command, and Lt. Gen. P.M. Hariz, the chief of the Southern Command.However, the government on Sunday clarified that the appointment of 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.
CBI questioned cousins of former Indian Air Force Chief S P Tyagi–Sanjeev, Rajeev and Sandeep– besides advocate Gautam Khaitan for nearly eight hours asking exhaustively about finances, firms established by them and their relations with European middlemen in Agusta Westland VVIP helicopter deal. The sources said questioning revolved around accounts of IDS Tunisia and remittances received by it. They said some documents which Khaitan was not carrying yesterday were brought by him.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>CBI claimed that Khaitan was being evasive during questioning and “concealing” information. Agency sources said the Managing Director of IDS Infotech Partap K Aggarwal and CEO of Aeromatrix Info Solutions Pvt.Ltd Praveen Bakshi have been called in connection with its probe in the case. It is believed that their firms were used to route alleged bribe money in India. Former Air Force Chief S P Tyagi has also been called on Monday again for a fresh round of questioning. The sources said Aggarwal, Bakshi and Tyagi have been called after some new facts have emerged during the questioning of the four accused today.Sanjeev Tyagi has not denied his relations with European middlemen Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa saying that they know him five to six years before the order was placed.He has said that the payments received by him were for power sector jobs which were all received through proper banking channels with income tax paid on them. He has said that payments received from middlemen were not for helicopter deal but for some power sector job.