The Defence Ministry on Friday recommended that Lt. Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhag be made the next chief of the Army, hours after the Election Commission ruled that the UPA government can begin the appointment process.

The recommendation comes amid an ugly war among the Army’s generals, which has led to protracted litigation and unprecedented political acrimony, and objections by the BJP to naming the new Army Chief.

The BJP criticised the government decision. “When the Manmohan Singh government is certainly going to demit office after its defeat in 89 to 90 hours, I leave it to their judgment of political propriety whether to appoint the new Army chief or not when the vacancy is occurring in the end of July,” BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed, however, defended the decision, pointing to the commission’s permission.

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