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V. K. SINGH vs BIKRAM SINGH.

POST OF CONTENTION: CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF

V. K. Singh and Bikram Singh were not rivals for the office of Chief of the Army Staff. They have held the office in tandem; when the former retired, the latter succeeded him.

That, however, is a simple telling of a much more complex rivalry and manoeuvres to prevent Bikram from taking over from VK. At one level, the manoeuvre was audacious -- General V. K. Singh petitioned the army, the defence minister and finally the Supreme Court to get his date of birth changed from May 10, 1950 to May 10, 1951, which would have ensured that Bikram would no longer be in the running for the top job by the time V. K. Singh demitted office a year later than the scheduled May 31, 2012.

The issue of the date of birth convulsed the army with lobbies drawn up for and against the General, including the circulation of papers and documents relating to the issue to the media.

Behind this manoeuvre was not just a matter of correcting a personal detail, albeit years late, but Gen. V. K. Singh's belief that the promotion system in the armed forces was being manipulated by a coterie of officers.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Nov 24, 2012
Words:220
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