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President accepts Ashok Lavasa's resignation as election commissioner

Election commissioner Ashok Lavasa (ramesh pathania/mint)Premium
Election commissioner Ashok Lavasa (ramesh pathania/mint)

  • Lavasa had been next in line of succession to become the chief election commissioner of India after incumbent Sunil Arora retires in April 2021
  • At ADB, he will now succeed current vice president Diwakar Gupta, whose tenure ends on 31 August and will look after private sector operations and public private partnerships.

President Ram Nath Kovind has accepted the resignation of Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, who was last month appointed vice-president of Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Lavasa was next in line of succession to become the chief election commissioner of India after incumbent Sunil Arora retires in April 2021. He would have overseen more than half a dozen assembly elections if not for the new posting.

"The President is pleased to accept the resignation tendered by Ashok Lavasa, Election Commissioner with effect from 31 August, 2020," read a gazette notification dated Tuesday by Ministry of Law and Justice.

A retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Haryana cadre's 1980 batch, Lavasa had joined EC on 23 January, 2018, and completed nearly two and a half years at the commission. With diverse bureaucratic experience, Lavasa had retired on superannuation as finance secretary and served as environment secretary and later had a stint with the ministry of civil aviation.

Election commissioners have a tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. Lavasa was set to turn 65 in October 2022 and thus had more than two years left at EC.

At ADB, he will now succeed current vice president Diwakar Gupta, whose tenure ends on 31 August and will look after private sector operations and public private partnerships.

Last year, amid the Lok Sabha election campaign, Lavasa had opposed clean chit given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, now Union home minister, on charges of violation of model code of conduct (MCC).

On the issue of MCC itself, the election commission (EC) had last year rejected his demand to include dissent notes and minority views in orders involving issues of model code violations. EC had then said status quo will be maintained and all dissent notes or minority views will remain part of records.

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