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Another tussle between army chief, defence ministry

delhi Updated: Mar 25, 2012 12:02 IST
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Differences between the defence ministry and the army chief Gen V K Singh appeared to be continuing with the ministry blocking his proposal for appointment of a top military official to the post of Director General of Assam Rifles.

Gen Singh, who had lost a bitter battle against the Ministry in the Supreme Court on his age issue recently, had recommended the name of Lt Gen A K Choudhary, who is the Director General Military Operations (DGMO), for the post in a proposal to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

But the MHA, which exercises control over the Assam Rifles, was asked not to consider the proposal by the Defence Ministry which raised objections as it did not have the approval of the Defence Secretary or any other competent authority, sources said.

The Defence Ministry has now asked the army to propose a fresh panel of officers for the appointment but the latter has not yet responded, they said.

Earlier, the army had nominated a panel of three officers including Lt Gen Choudhary and Adjutant General Lt Gen J P Nehra.

It is unusual that army is approaching the MHA directly bypassing the Defence Ministry as normally all such proposals are approved by it before they are forwarded to other Ministries, they said.

They said the appointment of previous incumbent Lt Gen Rameshwar Roy in 2010 had the sanction of the Defence Ministry.