Election Commissioner Sunil Arora has been appointed as the new Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) by President Ram Nath Kovind, according to the sources. An IAS officer of 1980-batch, Arora will take charge on December 2.
OP Rawat, who is set to retire this week will be replaced by Arora as the CEC. Arora assumes charge at a time when the poll panel is in the midst of conducting assembly elections in five states. The Election Commission will hold the 2019 general election under him.
Sources said Arora’s name has been cleared. He is the next CEC. “A notification will follow,” sources said.
Besides the Lok Sabha polls, Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Maharashtra, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim are scheduled to be held next year.
Arora was previously brought in as the Election Commissioner in September, last year to fill the vacancy created by former CEC Nasim Zaidi’s retirement.
A 1980-batch IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre, Arora was the skill development secretary before he was appointed as the top bureaucrat in the I&B Ministry. He has also worked in ministries and departments such as Finance, Textiles and Planning Commission and was also CMD of Indian Airlines for five years.
Back in his home state, Arora was one of the most trusted officers of Vasundhara Raje during her earlier term as Rajasthan Chief Minister. He was her principal secretary from 2005 to 2008.
He was brought-in as Election Commissioner in September 2017 to occupy the vacancy created by Nasim Zaidi.
A CEC of the Election Commission can have a tenure of six years or hold office till the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. The convention is to appoint the senior-most election commissioner as chief election commissioner.
(Featured image : The Indian Express)