- Eastern Army Commander Lt General Praveen Bakshi met Parrikar in Delhi
- Lt Gen Bakshi being appointed India's first Chief of Staff speculated
- Chief of Staff post discussed for years but no one appointed so far
Manohar Parrikar has flown back from Goa, where he was campaigning for assembly elections, for the meeting with the General.
There has also been speculation that Lt Gen Bakshi could resign after being overlooked for the top post. The last time an officer was superseded in the appointment of a new Army chief, he had resigned. That was Lt General SK Sinha, who put in his papers after the Congress government of Indira Gandhi picked his junior General AS Vaidya to be chief in 1983.
Lt General Bakshi is senior to Lt General Bipin Rawat, the present vice chief, named by the government to succeed Army Chief General Dalbir Singh, who retires at the end of this month.
The Chief of Defence Staff is meant to be a single point of contact between the three armed forces and the Defence Minister and cabinet for all crucial Defence decisions. The post has been discussed for years, but no one has so far been appointed.
Lt General Rawat has superceded not just Lt Gen Bakshi, who was next in line to be chief on seniority, but also southern command chief Lt Gen PM Hariz.
Government sources said Lt Gen Rawat, an Infantryman, was found best suited among the three officers to deal with current challenges like cross-border terrorism and counter insurgency in the North-East, given his hands-on experience of serving in combat areas and at various functional levels in the Indian Army. He has years of experience in counter insurgency operations and has served at the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. He also has extensive experience fighting counter insurgency in the Northeast.
Lt General Bakshi, is an Armoured Corps officer having spent most of his career in Jodhpur. He had other, less significant operational tenures in Jammu and Kashmir.
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