Senior most Navy officer Sekhar Sinha quits

Senior most Navy officer Sekhar Sinha quits

Defence Minister A K Antony on Monday has accepted the resignation of Vice Admiral Sekhar Sinha – the senior most Navy officer who was in charge of western naval command in Mumbai – after Sinha was ignored for the post of the Navy chief.

Last week the government appointed Admiral R K Dhowan as the new Navy chief bypassing Sinha’s claim. Dhowan, who was the vice chief at that point, is a few months junior to Sinha.

Within hours, Sinha offered to resign with immediate effect citing personal reasons, which the defence minister accepted on Monday. This is one of the rare cases in which the government did not follow the seniority principle in appointing a top military official.

Filling up the posts of vice chief of the Navy and commander in chief (CNC) of the western naval command, the sword arm of Indian Navy, are among the first priorities of the new Navy chief, who addressed all Navy officers here for the first time. Names of Vice Admiral Anil Chopra and Vice Admiral Satish Soni are being considered for the Vice Chief and CNC West. Chopra currently is the CNC of eastern naval command and Soni heads the southern naval command.

Vice Admiral SPS Cheema, chief of the Strategic Forces Command and Vice Admiral Pradeep K Chatterjee, deputy chief of naval staff at the headquarters, may be considered as CNC for the east and southern command. Vice Admiral Sunil Lamba might be replacing Chatterjee at the headquarters.

While the top brass of the Navy is being overhauled, appointment of the next Army chief too has come under scanner in the wake of BJP and former Army chief Gen V K Singh – a BJP candidate from Ghaziabad – objecting to the existing line of succession in which senior-most Army officer Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, currently the vice chief of the Army, is believed to have an edge.

The Army has sent the names of three of its senior-most officers to the Defence Ministry to pick up the next Army chief.

The three senior most officers are Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, currently the vice chief of the Army; Lt Gen Anil Chait, who heads the Integrated Defence Staff and Lt Gen Ashok Singh, the commander in chief of the Southern Command, Pune.

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