Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa appointed ADB vice-president

Mr. Lavasa was in news for giving dissenting opinions on clean chits to Narendra Modi, Amit Shah in alleged model code violation cases.

Updated - July 15, 2020 10:24 pm IST

Published - July 15, 2020 02:15 pm IST - New Delhi

Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa.

Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday announced that it had appointed Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, who was next in line to become the Chief Election Commissioner in 2021, as its vice-president (V-P) for private sector operations and public-private partnerships.

The Manila-headquartered regional bank said: “He [Mr. Lavasa] will succeed Diwakar Gupta whose term will end on August 31. Mr. Lavasa has a long and distinguished career in the Indian civil service ... He has extensive experience in public-private partnerships and infrastructure development at the state and federal levels, with deep knowledge on public policy and the role of private sector.”

Mr. Lavasa, a retired 1980-batch IAS officer of the Haryana cadre, was appointed an Election Commissioner in January 2018 and could have taken over from CEC Sunil Arora upon his retirement in April 2021 based on seniority.

According to a source, Mr. Lavasa was sounded out about the job some months ago.

Another source said Mr. Lavasa was yet to resign from the ECI.

During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Mr. Lavasa gave dissenting opinions when the EC gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah clean chits in alleged model code of conduct violation cases.

Later, his family had come under the Income Tax Department’s scanner over property and cash deposits.

Mr. Lavasa retired as Union Finance Secretary, having been Environment, Forest and Climate Change Secretary and Civil Aviation Secretary.

“As Joint Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, he worked closely with many ADB projects that had private sector components,” the ADB statement said.

“It is expected that Mr. Lavasa will assume office in September 2020. The appointment term is three years,” a communications specialist at ADB, Ramoncito dela Cruz, wrote in response to an email query by  The Hindu .

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