S.S. Sandhu and Gyanesh Kumar will be the new election commissioners, appointed by the panel led by PM Narendra Modi

S.S. Sandhu and Gyanesh Kumar will be the new election commissioners, appointed by the panel led by PM Narendra Modi

Sukhbir Singh Sandhu and Gyanesh Kumar are retired IAS officers from 1988 batch.

New Delhi, 14 March 2024

Bureaucrats Sukhbir Singh Sandhu and Gyanesh Kumar have been appointed for the two empty slots on the Election Commission of India’s top panel, Congress Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said this afternoon.

Mr Chowdhury was a member of the panel led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that chose two Election Commissioners to help Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar as the poll body prepares for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. In addition to the Prime Minister and Mr Chowdhury, Union Home Minister Amit Shah sat on the panel.

The six names that were shortlisted were those of former officials Utpal Kumar Singh, Pradeep Kumar Tripathi, Gyanesh Kumar, Indevar Pandey, Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, and Sudhir Kumar Gangadhar Rahate. Mr. Sandhu and Mr. Kumar are 1988 batch IAS officers. Mr. Kumar is an IAS officer from Kerala, whereas Mr. Sandhu is from Uttarakhand.

Prior to this, Mr. Sandhu had held senior positions in the government, such as chairman of the National Highways Authority of India and chief secretary of Uttarakhand. Mr. Kumar held the position of secretary in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and the Ministry of Cooperation, which was headed by Amit Shah. The two officials have been appointed for the Election Commissioner positions, a day before the Supreme Court considers petitions contesting the selection procedure.

The Supreme Court ordered in March last year that the panel must include the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India, and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha. However, the Centre later introduced legislation to replace the Chief Justice with a Union Minister. The modification has shifted the process in favour of the Centre.

The Association for Democratic Reforms and Congress politician Jaya Thakur have challenged the procedure in the Supreme Court, and the case will be heard tomorrow.

India Politics