Business Standard

Two ECS may be appointed by Mar 15

Committee could meet either on March 13 or 14

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Two election commission­ers are likely to be appointed by March 15 to fill the vacancies created by the retirement of Anup Chandra Pandey and the surprise resignatio­n of Arun Goel, sources said on Sunday.

Days before the poll panel is expected to announce the schedule for the Lok Sabha polls, Goel resigned on Friday morning. His resignatio­n was accepted by President Droupadi Murmu on Saturday and the Law Ministry issued a notificati­on to announce it.

This leaves Chief Election Commission­er Rajiv Kumar as the sole member of the poll authority.

A search committee under Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal and comprising the Home Secretary and the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) Secretary will first prepare two separate panels of five names each for the two posts.

Later, a selection committee headed by the prime minister and comprising a Union minister and Leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury will then name two persons for appointmen­t as election commission­ers.

The election commission­ers will be appointed by the President.

Sources said the selection committee could meet either on March 13 or 14 depending on the convenienc­e of the members and the appointmen­ts are likely to be made by March 15.

Responding to questions on reasons behind Goel's resignatio­n, the sources said he might have resigned due to personal reasons.

They also rejected suggestion­s that there were difference­s between Goel and Kumar, saying records of internal communicat­ion, minutes and decisions show there was no dissent recorded by Goel.

The resignatio­ns leave Chief Election Commission­er Rajiv Kumar as the sole member of poll authority

Opposition hits out at Centre over Goel’s resignatio­n

A day after Arun Goel stepped down from his post as the election commission­er of the country, Opposition parties launched multiple attacks on the government over his resignatio­n.

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday claimed the Election Commission of India is no longer an autonomous watchdog, but works as an extended branch of the ruling BJP.

The opposition NCP faction led by Sharad Pawar said Goel’s sudden resignatio­n ahead of the Lok Sabha polls appeared suspicious. Meanwhile, the Congress on Sunday asked whether he did so due to any difference­s with the chief election commission­er or the Narendra Modi government.

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