Home >Politics >Policy >Ashok Lavasa resigns as Election Commissioner; set to join ADB as vice president

Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa resigned on Tuesday to take up the position of vice-president at Asian Development Bank next month.

Lavasa, who would have retired as the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) in October 2022, would be the second election commissioner to step down from the poll panel before the completion of his term.

His resignation came when the election commission is preparing to conduct upcoming polls amid ongoing coronavirus pandemic which might begin with the Bihar Assembly poll.

Last month, he was named as the new vice-president of the Philippines-based Asian Development Bank (ADB). He will succeed Diwakar Gupta, whose term will end on August 31. Lavasa, a career bureaucrat, joined as Election Commissioner on January 23, 2018.

Sushil Chandra, presently posted as Election Commissioner will be in the line of succession after Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora which otherwise would have been donned by Lavasa had he not resigned.

ADB appoints a vice-president for a term of three years, which can be extended by another two years. The ADB president heads a management team comprising six vice-presidents.

An MBA degree from Southern Cross University in Australia, and MPhil in Defense and Strategic Studies degree from the University of Madras, Lavasa, a 1980 batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, retired as Finance Secretary.

"Lavasa has a long and distinguished career in the Indian civil service," ADB had said in the statement citing his bureaucratic career. "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 the private sector."

Lavasa led the Indian delegation in the climate change negotiations for the Paris Agreement and was instrumental in finalizing India's nationally determined contributions, which included a major role of the private sector, it said adding as Joint Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, he worked closely with many ADB projects that had private sector components.

Lavasa had made headlines during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when he gave a dissenting note to the Election Commission of India (ECI) giving a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former BJP president Amit Shah on charges of violating the Model Code of Conduct.

Soon after the elections, three members of the Lavasa family including his wife came under the scanner of the Income Tax Department for alleged non-declaration of income and disproportionate assets.

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