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Leave the job of appointing the new Army chief for the new government: Former defence officers
Amidst nation's poll-heated atmosphere, the appointment of the next Army chief is embroiled in controversy. While the Congress is in a hurry to announce the name of the next Army chief, BJP is moving to the Election Commission to stop the government from doing so.

The present Army chief, Bikram Singh, the 25th Chief of Army Staff (CoAS), succeeding VK Singh is going to retire on 31st July 2014, and according to the procedures the new Army chief should be announced 2-3 months in advance. So, according to this, if the present government announces the name of the next Army chief, then it would be exactly three months before the present chief's retirement.

And, if the present government leaves the appointment to be done by the new government, then it would be possible only after May 16th.

Former defence personnel are of the view that the job of appointing new Army chief should be left for the new government as their would be enough time for the announcement.

Brigadier (Retd.) Chitranjan Sawant, VSM feels that the outgoing government should not take such crucial decisions.

"Customarily, the announcement of the new army chief should be made 2-3 months before and the new government will have enough time to do so. This shows that there is some ulterior motive behind it. The Congress wants their henchmen to be their, and hence they are in such a hurry to announce the name of the new Army chief," said Brigadier Sawant.

Brigadier (Retd.) Arun Bajpayee, also has the similar views, and feels that the politicians are making the armed forces a 'holy cow'.

"Armed forces are being pulled into political issues, and this is going to affect the country very badly. They are been made the holy cow," said Brigadier Bajpyee.

Colonel (Retd.) Bhaskar Sarkar, a retired colonel with the Indian Army too favors the appointment of the new Army chief by the new government in offering only.

"31st July is long way off, so why should an outgoing government take such important decisions. During this period when a new government will come into power in few days, no long term appointments should be done, and it is unethical to do so."

However, in case the new Army chief is not appointed by the Congress-led present government and post-May 16th no party gets the clear mandate, then there will be delay in the formation of the new government. In that case what will happen? Is that situation of uncertainity on the name of the new Army chief good for the country?

Colonel Sarkar says, "There is a provision in our constitution, where our president can assume emergency power for six months. So, if there is any such situation then it can get resolved in that time period."

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