ECI welcomes newly appointed election commissioners

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New Delhi: Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Friday welcomed the two newly-appointed Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu who joined the Commission on Friday, a spokesperson of the poll body said. https://x.com/SpokespersonECI/status/1768490153319047598?s=20

In a post on X, a spokesperson said, “CEC Rajiv Kumar welcomed the two newly-appointed Election Commissioners, Gyanesh Kumar & Dr Sukhbir Singh Sandhu who joined the Commission today”. Both were appointed election commissioners by the selection panel chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Thursday dissented on the names put up by the government for the position of Election Commissioner. The selection committee consisting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Law Minister Arjun Meghwal and Leader of Opposition met earlier to consider names for the vacant positions of election commissioner.

After the meeting of the selection committee, Chowdhury alleged that the procedure followed for the selection of the Election Commissioners “has some lacunae”. “They (government) have the majority (in the committee that appoints election commissioner). Earlier, they had given me 212 names, but 10 minutes before the appointment they again gave me just six names. I know that the CJI isn’t there, government has made such a law that the CJI doesn’t interfere and the Central govt can choose a favourable name. I am not saying that it’s arbitrary but the procedure that is being followed has some lacunae,” the Congress leader said.

Gyanesh Kumar retired as secretary of the cooperation ministry in February, while Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, was former Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand. Sandhu, a 1988 batch IAS officer, retired from the post of Chief Secretary on January 31, 2024.

On December 12, the Rajya Sabha passed a bill to regulate the appointment and service terms of Chief Election Commissioners and election commissioners. The bill replaces the Election Commission (Conditions of Service of Election Commissioners and Transaction of Business) Act, 1991.

As per the Bill, the CEC and ECs will be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of a Selection Committee, which will consist of the Prime Minister, a Union Cabinet Minister, and the Leader of the Opposition or leader of the largest opposition party in Lok Sabha. The first task before the new election commissioner will be to ensure the successful conduct of the Lok Sabha polls which are slated to be held in April-May this year.

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