Who is Sushil Chandra? The new Chief Election Commissioner

  • | Tuesday | 13th April, 2021

The Election Commission of India (ECI) will get a new chief on Tuesday as Sushil Chandra will take over as the new chief election commissioner (CEC) from Sunil Arora, who demitted office on Monday.

Here’s all you need to know about India’s new chief election commissioner:

  1. Chandra will be the 24th head of the country’s poll commission, having been appointed as an election commissioner on February 14, 2019. Along with Arora and Ashok Lavasa, he oversaw the successful organisation of that year’s Lok Sabha elections.
  2. He is the senior-most election commissioner, ahead of Rajiv Kumar, in the three-member poll panel. President Ram Nath Kovind appointed Chandra as the new CEC in line with the convention to appoint the senior-most election commissioner as the CEC.
  3. As the new CEC, Chandra will oversee the completion of the ongoing assembly elections in West Bengal, where four out of eight rounds of voting has been completed. The final phase will take place on April 29, followed by the counting of votes and declaration of results on May 2.
  5. As a member of the Arora-headed panel, Chandra was also involved in the organisation of the recently-concluded assembly elections in Assam, Kerala, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu. The counting of votes is scheduled for May 2 in these areas as well.
  6. Other assembly elections conducted during his tenure as an election commissioner include those in Maharashtra and Haryana (October 2019), Jharkhand (December 2019), Delhi (February 2020) and Bihar (October-November 2020). The Bihar polls were the first to take place during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
  7. Chandra’s term will end on May 14, 2022. Before that, however, assembly elections are likely to take place in the states of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur.
  8. Chandra has also served as the chairperson of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). Under his leadership, CBDT launched “Operation Clean Money” in 2017 in a bid to curb illegal wealth and black money.

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