THE appointment of Lt-Gen PC Bhardwaj as Vice-Chief of the Indian Army has generated controversy as he has superseded Lt-Gen VK Singh, who was tipped to be the next Army Chief. The Indian daily Pioneer reported that Lt-Gen VK Singh was widely believed to be in the reckoning to succeed Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor after he retires in March next year. Bhardwaj is currently serving as the Northern Army commander and VK Singh as the Eastern Command. Bhardwajs promotion as the vice-chief means that VK Singh would be reporting to an officer six months junior to him. The daily reported that the Army and the Government have denied there was any controversy in appointing Bhardwaj as the vice-chief. For paving the way for Bhardwajs promotion, the Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor had recommended to the Defence Ministry that an officer with around two years of service left should take over the office so that he can be able to have a grip of things and continue for a longer period. The daily reported the senior most Lt-Gen used to take over as the vice-chief till now, who would either serve in the office for six to eight months or go on to become the Army chief later. In the normal scheme of things, VK Singh would have 'in all probability become the vice-chief after Thamburas retirement. However, the Defence Ministry accepted Kapoors recommendation that the vice-chief serve a two-year term. However, the daily quoting officials said there was a selection process. The respective chiefs forward the names of the candidates to the Defence Ministry. The Ministry, in turn, forwards the list to the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC), headed by the Prime Minister, after due screening. The ACC finally selects and names the Army commanders and vice-chiefs, it added.