Ahead of taking charge as India's first Chief of Defence Staff on January 1, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Bipin Rawat gave a befitting and comprehensive reply to his critics. The Indian Army Chief ended his tenure as Indian Army's Chief of Staff on Tuesday; he paid tribute to martyrs at the National War Memorial in New Delhi as he did so.
Earlier, on December 30, General Bipin Rawat was cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) for the post. Amid criticism from certain quarters, namely from the Congress party whose leaders have often spoken out against him even in the short period that he has been CDS, General Bipin Rawat said that he had only focused on the post of COAS till he officially handed it over. He further stated the allegations of pre-planning on the post of CDS as incorrect.
"The post of Army Chief is very important and I was focused solely on that only. I have focused only on this post and worked till I handed over officially. It's wrong to say that I was planning and focusing on the Chief of Defence Staff post while being on the post of Chief of Army Staff."
General Bipin Rawat conveyed his best wishes to his successor General Manoj Naravane. Lieutenant General Manoj Mukund Naravane will take charge as the Chief of Army Staff on Tuesday, succeeding General Bipin Rawat. Speaking at the conclusion of the ceremony, Gen Rawat extended his best wishes and exuded confidence in his leadership, asserting that he will take the Indian Army to greater heights.
"I would like to convey my best wishes to general Manoj Naravane, who will be assuming the office as the 28th COAS. With his competence and capability, we are confident he will take this army to greater heights."
Before taking charge as vice chief of the Army Staff in September, Lt Gen Naravane was heading the Eastern Command of the Army which takes care of India's nearly 4,000-km border with China.