Why this unseemly haste in army chief appointment?

The appointment would have been morally right if the next government chooses it

The unseemly hurry with which the government has bulldozed the appointment of Lt. Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhag as Chief of Army Staff betrays the opportunistic instincts of the Congress-led UPA-2.

There are barely four days to go for the Prime Minister to demit office and involving him in making this appointment possible before the next government takes over points to thinking that only the UPA can decide what is good governance.

In any case, the UPA’s chances of forming the next government cannot be altogether discounted regardless of what the exit polls may project as the highest possibility. The EC has given permission for the appointment to be made and there is no doubt with regard to the credibility of the officer in question, or his seniority and eligibility to head the Army.

Questions will arise only if the incoming government forsakes the seniority principle the Army follows scrupulously in choosing the most senior officer with at least two years’ service left to be the chief. Even so, the appointment would have been morally right and politically correct if it had been left to the next government to make.

The outgoing government is setting a bad precedent by going ahead at this late hour. The greatest feature of the Indian Army is its largely apolitical character that goes way beyond any individual preferences and personality politics within the ranks.

No officer’s name need be dragged into needless controversy over elevation in such circumstances. The whole process of elevation of the most senior officer is being vitiated in the manner in which it is being done in an open democratic set-up.

( Source : dc )
Next Story