Eastern army commander Lieutenant General Praveen Bakshi, who was overlooked for the position of army chief, proceeded on leave on Tuesday, sources said.
The duration of his leave wasn’t immediately known but the sources said he could have gone on “long leave”. Army officials in Delhi said Bakshi could have gone on pre-scheduled leave but the timing has raised a few eyebrows as the next army chief-designate Lieutenant General Bipin Rawat will take over on December 31.
Bakshi met defence minister Manohar Parrikar on December 17, four days after Rawat was named next army chief. The development comes at a time when speculation is building up in military circles that Bakshi could opt for pre-mature retirement, choosing not to serve under a junior.