The Centre on Sunday, in an unusual move, extended the tenure of Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande for a month.

Pande was slated to retire on May 31, but will now hold the post till June 30. The Appointments Committee of Cabinet approved the extension on Sunday.

Unidentified government sources told ANI that Pande’s successor would be chosen after the Lok Sabha election process is completed on June 4.

There was only one previous instance – in 1975 – when an Army chief’s tenure was extended in such a manner, The Hindu reported. In that year, the Indira Gandhi-led government gave General GG Bewoor an extension for one year.

Lieutenant General Upendra Dwiwedi, the current Vice Chief of Army Staff, is next in line for the Army chief’s post. The seniormost officer after him is Lieutenant General Ajay Kumar Singh, who is presently the Southern Army Commander.