Rawat will take charge on Tuesday after Achal Kumar Joti demits office on Monday. 

Om Prakash Rawat appointed Chief Election Commissioner of IndiaPTI / File photo
news News Monday, January 22, 2018 - 07:56

Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat was on Sunday appointed as the Chief Election Commissioner by President Ram Nath Kovind, succeeding Achal Kumar Joti, an official statement said.

Kovind also appointed former Union Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa as an Election Commissioner Rawat will take charge on Tuesday after Joti demits office on Monday. 

A 1977-batch IAS officer from the Madhya Pradesh cadre who had been serving as Union Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Secretary when he retired in 2013, Rawat was appointed as Election Commissioner in August 2015. 

Lavasa will also take charge on Tuesday, joining Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, a 1980-batch IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre and former Information and Broadcasting Secretary, who was appointed in September 2017.

Rawat's appointment came on the day when President Kovind accepted the Election Commission’s recommendation to disqualify 20 legislators of the Aam Aadmi Party, Delhi’s ruling party, for holding office of profit. 

In April 2016, Rawat had recused himself from a poll panel hearing to assess if the MLAs were holding office of profit after Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal accused him of bias.

AAP chief Kejriwal, had alleged that Rawat was close to Madhya Pradesh chief minister and senior BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chauhan.

An upset Rawat decided to skip the hearing to “uphold the public perception of the impartiality and objectivity of the Election Commission of India”. He later re-joined the hearing after CEC Nasim Zaidi demoted office. 

Addressing a seminar on poll reforms, Rawat had decried “poaching of legislators, extolled as smart political management; strategic introduction of money for allurement, tough-minded use of state machinery for intimidation etc. are all commended as resourcefulness”.

He had recently surprised many with his statement that the poll panel would be ready to hold assembly and Lok Sabha elections simultaneously after September 2018.

(With IANS inputs)

Show us some love! Support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.