New Delhi, Dec 18: The government on Saturday announced Lt General Bipin Rawat would be the new Army Chief, superseding two seniormost Lt Generals, Praveen Bakshi and P M Hariz. The government also announced that Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa will be the 22nd Chief of the Air Force, replacing Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha who retires at the end of the year.
According to Ministry of Defence (MoD) sources, Lt. Gen Rawat has tremendous hands on experience of serving in combat areas and at various functional levels over last 3 decades. He was found the best suited among the Lt. Generals, to deal with emerging challenges.
While the Former Union minister and Congress leader Manish Tewari on Sunday slammed the Centre over the appoitment of new Army chief. He said there is no doubt on Lt Gen Rawat's ability, but Government must answer why three seniors were superseded in appointing next Army chief.
"Why has Seniority not been respected in Appoitment of Army Chief? Why have Lt Gen Pravin Bakshi & Lt Gen Mohamed Ali Hariz been superseded Mr PM?" questioned former Union minister and Congress leader Manish Tewari on Twitter.
Usually, the names of the new chiefs are announced two to three months in advance. But this time, the names were announced barely two weeks before the current army chief retires.
Lt Gen. Rawat and Air Marshal Dhanoa, presently the Vice Chiefs of their respective services, will take over on December 31, when incumbents Gen. Dalbir Singh and Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha demit office on retirement from service.
Commissioned in the 11 Gorkha Rifles in December 1978, Rawat has commanded an infantry battalion, along the Line of Actual Control, a Rashtriya Rifles Sector and an infantry division in the Kashmir Valley, and has vast experience in high-altitude warfare and counter-insurgency operations.
Commissioned into the IAF's fighter stream in June 1978, Dhanoa, who has flown various types of fighter aircraft and is a qualified Flying Instructor, commanded a fighter squadron during the Kargil Operations and flew numerous night strike missions in the mountainous terrain.
OneIndia News (with IANS inputs)