Odisha’s CP Mohanty, Vice Army Chief, Cuts Short Qatar Trip; Will He Be Promoted?

New Delhi: Vice Army Chief Chandi Prasad Mohanty has cut short his Qatar trip following the terrible helicopter crash which killed Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Major Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika and 11 other Army personnel in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.

Lt Gen Mohanty, who is from Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur, had left for Doha for an official visit. Following an urgent Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting last evening, it was decided to call back the Army Vice Chief ASAP, reported ANI.

The untimely death of Gen Rawat, who had taken charge as India’s first CDS earlier this year, has thrown open the succession issue. The government is unlikely to delay too much in naming the new CDS, and the CCS is learnt to have already discussed the matter.

Chief of Army Staff Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane is the frontrunner to be named as Gen Rawat’s successor. He is senior to his counterparts in the Navy and Air Force, Admiral Hari Kumar and Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, respectively.

While Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari assumed office on September 30, Navy chief Admiral Hari Kumar did so as recently as November 30.

The 61-year-old Gen Naravane is due to retire in April next year, but his term can be extended for three more years if he is appointed CDS.

In that scenario, somebody will have to step in as Army chief, and Lt Gen CP Mohanty may be the chosen officer.

Lt Gen Mohanty of Rajput Regiment took over as Vice Chief of Army Staff on February 1 this year. Before that, he served as the GOC-in-C Southern Command.

Last month, he received the Param Vishisht Seva Medal From President Ram Nath Kovind.

Having done his schooling from Bagashai UP school in Jagatsinghpur, Let Gen Mohanty graduated from Defence Services Staff College, Wellington.

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