CEC Rawat to demit office amidst Assembly polls

CEC Rawat to demit office amidst Assembly polls

Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat. PTI

The Election Commission is set to have a change at its helm in the midst of the ongoing Assembly polls in the five states.

Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat will demit office on November 30 — just two days after Mizoram and Madhya Pradesh will go to polls to elect the new legislative assemblies of the state. Sunil Arora, currently one of the two Election Commissioners in the EC, will take over as the new CEC.

Arora will lead the poll panel to conduct the polling for the Assembly elections in Rajasthan and Telangana on December 7, but also the parliamentary elections in April-May next year.

Rawat, who oversaw polling in Chhattisgarh on November 12 and 20, will be accompanied by Arora and other Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa during a tour to Hyderabad to review preparations for polling in Telangana on Thursday and Friday, said EC sources.

The government is likely to appoint a new Election Commissioner to fill the vacancy, which will be created due to the end of the tenure of Rawat as the CEC and elevation of Arora to succeed him.

Rawat, an officer of Indian Administrative Service of 1977 batch, succeeded A K Joti as the new Chief Election Commissioner on January 23 this year.

He had joined the poll panel as Election Commissioner of India on August 14 in 2015 — a year-and-a-half after retiring as Secretary at the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.

An EC or a CEC has a fixed tenure of six years in office or till she or he attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.

Rawat will turn 65 on December 2.

Arora, an IAS officer of 1980 batch, was appointed as an Election Commissioner on September 1, 2017. He retired from government service in April 2016.