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Prime Minister-Headed Panel Appoints New Election Commissioners

New Delhi: In a significant development for India’s electoral machinery, a high-powered committee chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has named retired IAS officers Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu as the new Election Commissioners. The appointments come in the wake of two vacancies created by the resignation of Arun Goel and the retirement of Anup Chandra Pandey. These selections, made by the top-level panel, highlight the crucial role of the Election Commission in ensuring the smooth functioning of the country’s democratic processes.

Gyanesh Kumar from the Kerala cadre, brings extensive experience to his new role. Having previously served as the secretary in the Ministry of Cooperation and worked closely with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Kumar is poised to assume the position of Chief Election Commissioner in February 2025. Meanwhile, Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, hailing from the Uttarakhand cadre, adds his expertise to the commission. With a background as the chief secretary of Uttarakhand during a pivotal political transition in 2021, Sandhu’s appointment underscores the Commission’s commitment to upholding the integrity of the electoral system.

These appointments hold particular significance as they coincide with the impending announcement of the schedule for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in April-May. With the new Election Commissioners set to join the poll body imminently, their arrival will be instrumental in facilitating the smooth conduct of the elections. However, their selection also faces scrutiny, as petitions challenging the process are slated for hearing by the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, as the nation gears up for another democratic exercise, the appointment of Kumar and Sandhu reaffirms the government’s commitment to ensuring fair and transparent elections.

Tags: Governance