Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Modi-led panel picks Election Commissioners, Opposition leader registers dissent

On Thursday, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led panel picked retired IAS officers Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu as the Election Commissioners to fill the vacancies created by the retirement of Anup Chandra Pandey and the surprise resignation of Arun Goel.

Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who was present at the meeting, registered his dissent, questioning the process followed, saying the short-listed names of officers were not made available to him in advance. He added that the government is in the majority in the panel, and hence “they chose the candidates they wanted”.

Chowdhury said the CJI should have been part of the selection panel and there was no clarity on how six names were shortlisted from over 200 candidates

Chowdhury said he had asked for a short list before the meeting which could have given him details of all the shortlisted candidates. He said the Government had sent the names of 212 officers Wednesday.

Hailing from Punjab, Sukhbir Singh is a retired IAS officer of the 1998 batch. Sandhu was appointed as the chief secretary of Uttarakhand under Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami in 2021.

Gyanesh Kumar, a retired IAS officer of the 1988-batch Kerala cadre, served as secretary in the Amit Shah-led Ministry of Cooperation and played a pivotal role in the abrogation of the Article 370 bill.

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