OP Rawat to head poll panel

OP Rawat to head poll panel

OP Rawat to head poll panel

There is no point in speaking of simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and all the state assemblies before putting the legal framework in place, new Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) OP Rawat said here on Tuesday.

Rejecting rumours that the disqualification of AAP had to do something with CEC AK Joti's retirement, Rawat said, the timing was determined by the flow of events because three commissioners had heard the case - Dr Zaidi, Mr Joti and he himself.

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Officials who worked under him since he joined the EC in 2015 say he is particular about details and is behind several decisions to fast-track clearances required by political parties for electioneering. He has also served as Principal Secretary of former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Babu Lal Gaur.

Former finance secretary Ashok Lavasa is the other election commissioner along with.Sunil Arora in the poll body.

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Rawat, who will hold this position till December 2, gets a mandate to handle elections in eight states beginning Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya next month; Karnataka in April-May; and then MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram later this year.

Mr. Rawat has a post graduate degree in Social Development Planning from the United Kingdom, completed in 1989, and has been a recipient of the Madhya Pradesh Award for recognition of forest rights in 2009. "The election commission is a creature of the constitution and we have to perform willy-nilly whenever the elections are to be done in whatever way prescribed by the law", said Rawat. During his tenure as Election Commissioner, Assembly elections in Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat were conducted successfully. He will demise the office if he turns 65 before the completion of the mandate. Usually, a member of the Indian Civil Service, mostly from the Indian Administrative Service is selected as the Chief Election Commissioner of the country.

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