Government always has final say in Army Chief's selection: Satyavrat Chaturvedi
New Delhi [India], Dec. 19 (ANI): Congress leader Satyvrat Chaturvedi appeared to go against his party's line on Monday, when he said that the final decision in the selection of the army chief lies in the hands of the government of the day.
"Seniority is an important consideration, but it is not the only consideration. Qualification is also an important factor. So, the government must have taken the decision considering all factors. I feel that the present man appointed is a general and he a past record. All these things must have been thought about," Senior Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi told ANI.
Chaturvedi insisted that politics and defence should be kept apart in the national interest.
"In terms of the appointment of the army chief, controversy cannot be welcomed. It has been a tradition.are also taken into consideration. The decision of what is supreme for national interest is taken by the ruling government. Army and politics should be like two poles apart. I don't find it right to play politics over national security, he said.
"I am in favour of keeping this issue away from any controversy. I don't want to comment on it," he added.
The Centre has attracted criticism from the opposition parties for choosing Lieutenant General Bipin Rawat as the next army chief, for superseding two senior officers – Lt. Gen. Praveen Bakshi, the senior most army commander, who heads the Eastern Command, and Lt. Gen. P.M. Hariz, the chief of the Southern Command.
However, the government on Sunday clarified that the appointment of Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) is based purely on merit from a panel of officers in the rank of army commanders, irrespective of the corps to which the officer originally belonged. (ANI)