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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

From Today's Papers - 13 May 2014





http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20140513/main1.htm
Govt moves to appoint next Army Chief as EC gives nod
BJP questions ‘political propriety’ of decision taken in last 90 hours
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 12
Hours after the Election Commission’s green signal, the Defence Ministry on Monday moved the file to appoint the next Army Chief. The BJP reacted sharply, saying the government should refrain from making the appointment with just three days remaining for the UPA government.

Army Vice-Chief Lt General Dalbir Singh Suhag is the frontrunner to succeed incumbent Chief General Bikram Singh, who will retire on July 31. The MoD has moved the file to the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. If the appointment is made, it will be 79 days before Lt General Suhag actually takes over.

In the past, appointments of Service Chiefs have been made nearly three months in advance. Admiral DK Joshi, who recently quit, was appointed 87 days prior to his taking over, while his predecessor Admiral Nirmal Verma had an 85-period as C








hief-designate. General Bikram Singh was appointed 89 days in advance. Previous Chief Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne was appointed 73 days in advance, while his predecessor Air Chief Marshal PV Naik had a similar period as Chief-designate when he was appointed on March 3, 2009.

The Election Commission, to which the Army Chief’s appointment had been referred in view of the model code of conduct, gave the go-ahead to initiate the process of appointing the next Army Chief this morning.

On expected lines, it cited its March 27 communication that said: “The model code of conduct is not applicable to any matter pertaining to the defence forces, be it recruitments, promotions in defence forces, all service matters pertaining to them...” The EC was itself surprised at to why the MoD had referred the matter to it despite clear instructions.

Following strong opposition by the BJP, the government had last week referred the matter to the Election Commission, saying any decision will be taken only after its nod.

The EC, responding to a reference made by the Defence Ministry, said if the government wants, it can proceed with the process to appoint the next Chief of Army Staff.

BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Manmohan Singh government has "only 90 hours" left and "I leave it to their judgement of political propriety whether or not to appoint the new Army Chief”.

PM-led panel to decide

* The Defence Ministry sent its recommendation to the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) shortly after receiving the go-ahead from the Election Commission to which the matter had been referred in view of the model code of conduct

* It is now for the ACC, headed by PM Manmohan Singh, to take a call on the recommendation

* The recommendation had only the name of 59-year-old Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, who is the seniormost among the Lt Generals, sources said

BJP slams move

When the Manmohan Singh government is certainly going to demit office after its defeat in 89 to 90 hours, I leave it to their judgement of political propriety whether to appoint the new Army Chief or not when the vacancy is occurring in the end of July.—  Ravi Shankar Prasad, BJP


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20140513/main6.htm
Beijing voices unease with India over S China Sea

Beijing, May 12
Irked by India voicing its concern over the tensions in the South China Sea, China today said Indian people need "not worry too much" about the issue. "I have so many times stated China's position on South China Sea. I wish to tell Indian people that they may not worry too much about the current situation in South China Sea (SCS)," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here today.

Hua's remarks came in response to India voicing its "concern" over the recent developments in the South China Sea where Chinese and Vietnamese ships are locked in a tense standoff. China's oil rig's attempts for oil exploration in the waters of disputed islands claimed by both countries have escalated tensions. "We have been following with concern recent developments in the South China Sea. We believe that maintenance of peace, stability, growth and prosperity in the region is of vital interest to the international community," a spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry had said in New Delhi last week.

Hua said China and the Association of South East Asian Nations have made a Declaration of the Code of Conduct (DOC) for the peace and stability of the SCS. "We hope relevant parties will work with same direction towards China and make relentless efforts to this end," she said. China was critical of reactions by the US and Japan over the SCS last week. China objected to India's ONGC taking part in the drilling in the area specified by Vietnam which Beijing termed as disputed. Both Vietnam and the Philippines together with Malaysia and Brunei have serious disputes with China in the SCS and have been pressing ASEAN to take a firm stand against Beijing on the issue. China also objected to the Philippines arresting 11 Chinese fishermen in the disputed waters.

On ASEAN leaders' statement expressing serious concern over the tensions, Hua said the SCS issue is not a problem between China and the ASEAN countries.

"We have important consensus with ASEAN countries as to maintain peace stability in SCS. We believe that is in the interest of all parties requires common efforts of all. We are ready to work with ASEAN to implement DOC. We are opposed to certain counties jeopardising the cooperation between ASEAN and China making use of SCS," she said.

Hua said Vietnam and China are holding talks to defuse the situation. "The diplomatic channel between Vietnam and China remains smooth. There had been 14 rounds of negotiations. Now I believe there are more negotiations between China and Vietnam," she said. — PTI



http://www.ndtv.com/elections/article/election-2014/despite-bjp-s-protest-government-will-name-new-army-chief-sources-522894?pfrom=home-otherstories
Despite BJP's Protest, Government Will Name New Army Chief: Sources
The most senior leaders of the Congress, including the Prime Minister and party president Sonia Gandhi, met this evening and reportedly decided to appoint a new chief for the Indian army. General Bikram Singh retires on July 31.

The Opposition BJP has said the lame-duck government does not have the authority to make such an important decision. But the Election Commission told the government again today that it is within its rights to select the next Army Chief. Results of the election are due on May 16. (India Sets New Record for Voter Turnout at Over 66%)

Traditionally, the Army Chief is chosen two months before the incumbent vacates office.   Sources say Congress leaders wanted to follow the conventional timeline and signal that politics cannot leave the army rudderless.

"Dr Singh's government is going to demit soon. I leave it to their judgement of political propriety to decide whether it is right," said the BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad. The stand of following convention to name the new chief is "just a smokescreen," alleged General VK Singh, former Army Chief and now a BJP candidate.

The Congress core group decided to proceed with naming the new chief as it met today after voting ended for an election that is expected to deliver a walloping to the party. The BJP, led by Narendra Modi, is expected to get the most seats. (Track LIVE updates)

The Press Trust of India reports that the Defence Ministry has recommended Army Vice Chief Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag for the top post. (Election Commission Gives Nod to Government to Appoint New Army Chief)

In a note to the Defence Ministry today, the Election Commission reiterated the posit that appointments and purchasing of equipment for the defence forces are exempt from the model code of conduct which bans the government from making important policy decisions or allocating key offices once elections are announced.


https://www.authintmail.com/article/asia/indian-defence-ministry-recommends-lt-gen-suhag-next-army-chief
Indian defence ministry recommends Lt Gen Suhag as next army chief
NEW DELHI —  The Defence Ministry Monday decided to go ahead with the process of appointing the next Army Chief as it recommended the name of Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag for the top post.

The Defence Ministry sent its recommendation to the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) shortly after receiving the go-ahead from the Election Commission to which the matter had been referred in view of the Model Code of Conduct, highly placed sources told PTI.

The sources said the recommendation had only the name of 59-year-old Lt Gen Suhag, who is the seniormost among the Lt Generals.

It is now for the ACC, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to take a call on the recommendation. Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh will retire on 31 July and as per the tradition, the government announces the name of services chiefs two months before the tenure of the incumbent comes to an end.

The appointment of the next Army Chief had got mired in a controversy as BJP is strictly opposing it, questioning the "hurry" and insisting that the matter be left to the next government as there is still time left. Earlier in the day, the EC sent a communication to the Defence Ministry giving the go-ahead.

The EC cited its 27 March order which makes it clear that appointments, promotions, tenders and procurements of defence forces are not covered under the Model Code of Conduct in the ongoing elections as well as any other election in the future, sources said.

The EC, responding to a reference made by the Defence Ministry, said if the government wants, it can proceed with the process to appoint the next Chief of Army Staff, the sources added.


http://www.ndtv.com/elections/article/election-2014/congress-top-leaders-meet-but-do-not-discuss-next-army-chief-522852
Congress Top Leaders Meet But Do Not Discuss next Army Chief
The most senior leaders of the Congress, including the Prime Minister and party president Sonia Gandhi, met this evening as voting concluded for the national election. (India on Course for Record Turnout)

The Congress Core Group met amid predictions of a walloping for the party. The Opposition BJP, led by Narendra Modi, is expected to get the most seats. Results of the election are due on May 16. (Track LIVE Updates)

Among the leaders present today was Rahul Gandhi, Mrs Gandhi's son, who fronted the Congress campaign.

Sources say that the meeting did not discuss whether to appoint a new chief for the Indian Army. General Bikram Singh retires on July 31.

The Opposition BJP has said the lame-duck government does not have the authority to make such an important decision. But the Election Commission told the government again today that it is within its rights to select the next Army Chief. "Dr Singh's government is going to demit soon. I leave it to their judgement of political propriety to decide whether it is right," said the BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The Press Trust of India reports that the Defence Ministry has recommended Army Vice Chief Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag to the top post. It is now upto the cabinet's appointment committee to decide whether to proceed with the matter. (Election Commission Gives Nod to Government to Appoint New Army Chief)

Traditionally, the Army Chief is chosen two months before the incumbent vacates office. "Given the circumstances, claiming that as a norm is just a smokescreen," alleged General VK Singh, former Army Chief and now a BJP candidate.

In a note to the Defence Ministry today, the Election Commission reiterated the posit that appointments and purchasing of equipment for the defence forces are exempt from the model code of conduct which bans the government from making important policy decisions or allocating key offices once elections are announced.

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