Army chief-designate lieutenant general Bipin Rawat expects “support and cooperation” from the two generals superseded by the government to elevate him to the top position, as uncertainty looms over the senior officers’ next move.
In promoting Rawat, who takes over as army chief on December 31, the claims of lieutenant generals Praveen Bakshi and PM Hariz were ignored.
“They have been cooperating all along and I think they have been most supportive thus far and I expect the same in future,” said Rawat in his first interview after being named as general Dalbir Singh’s successor.
Bakshi and Hariz were commissioned in December 1977 and June 1978, while Rawat joined the army in December 1978. Had the government gone by seniority, Bakshi would have been the next chief. But Rawat’s experience in Kashmir and the Northeast tipped the scales in his favour.
On the seniority principle being abandoned, Rawat said it was the government’s call and “we should all abide by the decision”.
“Both generals Bakshi and Hariz have been good friends and I have lot of respect for them. But since the government has taken a decision, it is with humility I accept this responsibility and I will do my best.” He said he was as surprised as others when the announcement was made. Read More…