Congress and the Left on Sunday questioned the appointment of the new army chief by superseding two officers, saying every appointment by the government has become controversial. The development came a day after the government appointed Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Bipin Rawat as the new army chief superseding his two senior officers.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said that every institution has its own dynamics, hierarchy and seniority which is the overriding dynamic of the armed forces not only in India but everywhere in the world. “With all due respect to Gen Rawat’s professionalism and no personal animus towards anybody, there is a legitimate question that why has that supersession taken place,” he said.
Arguing that Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi and Southern Army Command chief Lt Gen P M Hariz are senior to Lt Gen Rawat, Tewari questioned why this supersession has taken place. He said now the argument the government will give that Congress did supersession in the 80s and, therefore it has the right to do so is a “complete nonsense”.
“Every situation has its own context and, therefore nothing can be extrapolated out of context in order to justify a supersession. So, therefore the government needs to answer this legitimate question as to why these senior army commanders were superseded,” he said. “Did the government have anything against them? Was their professionalism in question? What was the reason and I guess the army being a public institution the country deserves those answers,” Tewari said.
CPI leader D Raja also questioned the government’s move and said appointments have become controversial. “Appointments in the army have become controversial, the appointments in the judiciary are already controversial, the appointments of CVCs, CBI director and to Central Information Commission, all these top-level appointments are becoming very controversial,” he said.
Terming this as “very unfortunate”, Raja said it is not in the interest of democracy and the country. He said there should be transparency and transparency should go along with integrity and nobody should raise questions. “But now questions are being raised,” he added.