New Delhi: Before resigning on Wednesday, the then Naval Chief Admiral D K Joshi asked Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, the western command chief, to resign because of a spate of mishaps under his command.
Sources said, Vice Admiral Sinha refused to quit. It was then that the Naval Chief made up his mind. An upright officer, Admiral Joshi wanted somebody to take moral responsibility, and after his junior refused, he decided to give in his papers.
Admiral Joshi called on the Defence Minister A K Antony at around noon. When Antony sought clarification about the INS Sindhuratna mishap from him, Admiral Joshi said he was taking moral responsibility and was resigning, sources in the know said.
Antony immediately rang up the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and President Pranab Mukherjee, the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces.
After consultations with Defence Secretary and other senior officials in his ministry, the Defence Minister accepted the Naval Chief's resignation. The most surprising thing was the Raksha Mantri did not try to persuade the outgoing Naval Chief even once, meaning all was not well between the two.
Admiral Joshi was unhappy with the media highlighting the mishaps in the Indian Navy for quite sometime, and he felt that the Defence Ministry was not protecting him. An honest and upright officer he was, Admiral Joshi decided to quit.