New Election Commissioners take charge

Gyanesh Kumar had served in the Home Ministry during the abrogation of Article 370 and helped set up the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust; Sukhbir Singh Sandhu had served as Uttrakhand Chief Secretary and in the NHAI

March 15, 2024 07:15 pm | Updated March 16, 2024 02:26 am IST - New Delhi

Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu assume charge as Election Commissioners on March 15, 2024. Photo: X/@SpokespersonECI via PTI

Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu assume charge as Election Commissioners on March 15, 2024. Photo: X/@SpokespersonECI via PTI

Former bureaucrats Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu on Friday assumed charge as Election Commissioners, a day before the poll body is scheduled to announce the dates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Mr. Kumar and Mr. Sandhu were on Thursday appointed as Election Commissioners by a high-powered panel, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

This is the first time that Election Commissioners have been appointed in accordance with the new Chief Election Commissioner and other Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Act, 2023, which was brought in by the Government in December last year.

The two Election Commissioners were appointed following vacancies rendered in the commission by the sudden resignation of EC Arun Goel on March 9 and retirement of EC Anup Chandra Pandey on February 15.

Mr. Kumar, a Kerala cadre IAS officer, superannuated as the Cooperation Secretary. He has a postgraduate in Economics from Harvard University and a B Tech from IIT Kanpur, according to his Executive Record Sheet.

During his tenure in the Union Home Ministry, Mr. Kumar oversaw the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. He also played a key role in setting up the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust. He had also been the Parliamentary Affairs Secretary.

Mr. Sandhu served as Uttarakhand Chief Secretary when Pushkar Singh Dhami was the Chief Minister. Earlier, he served as the chairman of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and as Additional Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development.

He did his MBBS from Government Medical College, Amritsar and holds a postgraduate degree in History from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.

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