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Adhir Chowdhury dissent on EC selection, Gyanesh Kumar, Sukhbir Sandhu to be new EC's

New Delhi: Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Thursday dissented on the names put up by the government for the position of Election Commissioner. Two positions in the commission were vacant following the recent resignation of EC Arun Goel.
The selection committee consisting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, law minister Arjun Meghwal and Leader of Opposition met this morning to consider names for the vacant positions of election commissioner.
After the meeting of the selection committee, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury alleged that the procedure followed for selection of the Election Commissioners has some lacunae.
"They (government) have the majority (in the committee that appoints election commissioner). Earlier, they had given me 212 names, but 10 minutes before the appointment they again gave me just six names. I know that the CJI isn't there, government has made such a law that the CJI doesn't interfere and the Central govt can choose a favourable name. I am not saying that it's arbitrary but the procedure that is being followed has some lacunae." Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said.
Sources say, the selection committee finally closed on two names, retired IAS officers Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu. The two will join Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on the commission.
Gyanesh Kumar retired as secretary of the cooperation ministry in February, while Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, was former Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand.
On December 12, Rajya Sabha passed a bill to regulate the appointment and service terms of Chief Election Commissioner and election commissioners. The bill replaces the Election Commission (Conditions of Service of Election Commissioners and Transaction of Business) Act, 1991.
As per the Bill, the CEC and ECs will be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of a Selection Committee, which will consist of the Prime Minister, a Union Cabinet Minister, and the Leader of the Opposition or leader of the largest opposition party in Lok Sabha.
On March 9, Election Commissioner Arun Goel on Saturday resigned from the post. His resignation was accepted by the President
The first task before the new election commissioner will be to ensure the successful conduct of the Lok Sabha polls which are slated to be held in April-May this year.

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