Sunday, March 4, 2012

It’s official: Lt Gen Bikram Singh to be next Army chief

NEW DELHI: Lieutenant General Bikram Singh, the Eastern Army commander, would be the next Army Chief. 

The formal announcement for the next Chief of Army Staff made on Saturday has put an end to all doubts about who would succeed General VK Singh, thanks to the persistent speculation about Singh's possible resignation and widespread efforts to stall Lt Gen Bikram Singh's appointment. 

"This is a great honour. I want to thank the government for reposing faith in me. I hope to live up to the honour and values of this great institution," Lt Gen Bikram Singh told TOI an hour after defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma called up the senior Army commander in Kolkata to inform him about the government's decision. Lt Gen Singh was also given the government notification of his appointment. 

A formal announcement from the spokesperson of the ministry of defence (MoD) said, "The Eastern Army Commander, Lt Gen Bikram Singh, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC has been designated as the next Chief of Army Staff, in the rank of General, with effect from the afternoon of May 31, 2012. He will succeed the present COAS, General V K Singh, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC, who retires from the service on May 31, 2012." 

The announcement draws to a close acrimonious bids to scuttle the appointment of Lt Gen Singh as the next Army Chief. Several letters did the rounds, hurling various allegations against Lt Gen Singh, who was the Army spokesperson during the 1999 Kargil conflict. 

with thanks : TOI : link in the headline above for detailed news.

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