Conspiracy cost me top position: Lt Gen Bakshi

Conspiracy cost me top position: Lt Gen Bakshi

Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi has triggered a fresh row, claiming that a “malicious campaign and a deep-rooted conspiracy” prevented him from becoming the chief of the army staff.

In a video clip that surfaced in a section of the media, Lt Gen Bakshi also spoke about “whispers in the corridors” carried out by “men in the shadows”. The army’s senior-most officer went on to claim that he would expose the “enemies of the Indian Army”.

Last month, the Centre ignored Lt Gen Bakshi while appointing Gen Bipin Rawat – one year junior – as the army chief. This is only the second time in Independent India that the time-tested seniority principle has been ignored while picking the army chief.

However, contrary to the expectations of many, Lt Gen Bakshi did not resign. He met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on December 21 and told his men at the Eastern Command that he would continue as their chief.

The video is from Lt Gen Bakshi’s New Year address to officers, delivered via a video link.

Lt Gen Bakshi is on leave till January 29 and would not participate in the upcoming army commanders’ conference as well as the combined commanders’ conference likely to be held in Dehradun, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to address the crowd.

In the normal course, Lt Gen Bakshi is to retire in July 2017.

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