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Lt Gen Singh tipped as Army Chief; two top Generals may be superseded again!

By Rakesh Ranjan- 24 May 2024
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New Delhi (24.05.2024): Days ahead of the retirement of the incumbent Army Chief General Manoj Pande, speculation is rife that who will be the next Army Chief. General Pandey will be hanging his boots on May 31, 2024 when the ruling dispensation is seeking a third term. The General Elections 2024 is in its last legs. 
It assumes significance as in the election season when politicians on one hand are talking about taking control of PoK very soon on the other hand a section cautioning that the neighbour too is a nuclear power. In such a scenario, the appointment of new Army Chief draws attention more than usual thus calls for a closure look of the entire exercise. 
Sources say that the Centre may supersede the present Vice Chief of the Army Lt. Gen. Upendra Dwivedi to appoint Southern Army commander Lt. Gen. A K Singh as the next Chief of Army Staff. Lt. Gen. Singh, from the Gorkha Rifles, is from Dehradun, Uttarakhand. “Capturing and defending territory still requires boots on the ground – infantry, trenches and mines. We must simultaneously improve both cutting-edge technologies and traditional military assets,” Lt Gen Singh said around a fortnight ago.
His statement is seen, in a section, as something which triggered speculations of him being the next Army Chief. Though one can’t rule out the remote possibility of the incumbent Chief an extension for a month or so to address the transition period.
In case, as speculated, Lt. Gen. Singh is given the supreme command, this would be the second time when such a supersession would take place in the Army in last eight years. It may be recalled that General Bipin Rawat too superseded two officers -- Praveen Bakshi (Eastern Army Commander) and P M Hariz (Southern Army Commander) -- to become Army Chief. Rawat was also from Uttarakhand. Sources say that the role of National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval may be important in these appointments. It is to be seen who is drafted as the successor to General Manoj Pande on his retirement on May 31, 2024.
(Rakesh Ranjan)

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