Om Prakash Rawat Appointed as New Chief Election Commissioner

Om Prakash Rawat has been appointed as the chief election commissioner, the Union Law ministry said on Sunday, 21 January, a day before incumbent Achal Kumar Joti’s tenure ends.

Former Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa was also appointed as an election commissioner to fill up the vacancy that would have arisen in the three-member Election Commission. Sunil Arora is the other commissioner in the poll body.

Rawat will take over as the CEC on Monday, 23 January, a Law ministry notification said.

Rawat’s tenure will end in December this year and Arora, the senior most commissioner after the CEC, is expected to take over as the head of the poll panel, as per convention.

Arora would retire in April, 2021, and would oversee the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as the CEC. Lavasa would demit office in October, 2022, and would be the CEC after Arora.

An EC or CEC has a fixed tenure of six years. But if she turns 65 before that, she has to demit office.

Born on 2 December, 1953, Rawat is a former Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer. Rawat also served as secretary, Department of Public Enterprises in the ministry of Heavy Industries. Earlier in 1993, he served as a director in the Defence ministry.

Rawat also served as principal secretary to Babu Lal Gaur, the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh between 2004 and 2006.

An awardee of state government's 'recognition of forest rights' in 2009, Rawat completed an M.Sc in social development planning in 1989 in the United Kingdom.

Lavasa, besides his stint in the Finance ministry, was with the ministries of Environment and Forest, Civil Aviation, Power, Home, Finance at the Centre and Industries, Tourism and Public Relations in Haryana, his cadre.

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