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Despite mishaps, Western naval commander in race for chief's post

Friday, 28 February 2014 - 8:15am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

Western navy commander, Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, under whose command the maximum mishaps involving navy warship happened, is likely to appear before the defence minister AK Antony to explain his position. Navy chief Admiral DK Joshi resigned on Wednesday, taking moral responsibility of the spate of accidents.

Though the government has appointed vice admiral Rk Dhowan as the acting chief, but admiral Shekhar Singh, being the senior most admiral in the navy is considered as the front runner for the post of next navy chief. Sources close to the development told dna that Shekhar Singh has expressed his willingness to take the top job, despite, his alleged inability to take corrective measures after repeated mishaps under his command.

Shekhar Sinha, along with Vice Admiral R K Dhowan, and Eastern Naval Commander Vice Admiral Anil Chopra are in the race for the top job in the nation's maritime force.

According to a top ministry defence official, though Sinha is the senior most admiral in the navy, it will be very tough for the government to appoint him because he is directly responsible for such mishaps which ultimately led to departure of navy chief admiral DK Joshi.

Meanwhile, Antony, who came under criticism for promptly accepting Joshi's resignation, said, "I consulted everybody. I met the prime minister also. Ultimately, we took a decision to accept the resignation."Describing the navy chief as a "very good admiral" and a "fine human being", the defence minister said he is "sad" about the whole development. "Admiral Joshi was very disturbed by the whole development and requested me to accept his resignation with immediate effect," Antony said.

"I consulted only myself and my wife before taking the decision to resign. After the submarine mishap, I was firm that I should take the responsibility for it," Admiral D K Joshi, in an internal message to senior officers, on his resignation

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