Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora would not be in his post to see the results of the ongoing Assembly elections in West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to be out on May 2. In fact, he won’t be there even to head the EC for the 4 of the 8 phases of the election in West Bengal on April 17, 22, 26 and 28 as he is retiring on April 12. The rules say the CEC and ECs are appointed for a term of six years or 65 years of age, whichever is earlier.
EC Sushil Chandra, an IRS officer, who had retired as the Central Board of Direct Taxes, who had joined the EC on February 15, 2019, is tipped to be the new CEC. He also won’t be there to conduct the next Lok Sabha election as he will retire on 14.05.2022 on completing 65 years.
Rajiv Kumar, a 1984 batch retired IAS officer of Jharkhand cadre who became the third EC after the forced resignation of Ashok Lavasa on September 1, 2020, will be holding the next Lok Sabha poll as CEC since his tenure will be up to February 2025.
Lavasa would have been the CEC this year to hold the LS poll but for being hunted by the government agencies after he expressed differences on certain decisions in the EC on alleged violation of the model code by PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. He had opposed clean chit given to them. After his forced resignation, he was bundled out of India as the Vice-president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), based in Manila. Arora, a 1980 batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre who retired as the I&B secy, became EC on Sept 1, 2017 and took over as the CEC on Dec 2, 2018.