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Sunil Arora takes over as CEC, rolls out plans for Lok Sabha polls

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 02, 2018 19:36 IST
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Sunil Arora, who took over as the 23rd Chief Election Commissioner on Sunday, sought cooperation of political parties and people to make elections 'totally free, fair and ethical'.

He succeeded O P Rawat who demitted office on Saturday.

The Lok Sabha elections, which are due next year, will be conducted by the poll panel under Arora, the 62-year-old former bureaucrat.

Besides the Parliamentary polls, the 2019 assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Maharashtra, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim will be held during his tenure.

He will be in office till April 12, 2021.

After assuming charges, the new Chief Election Commissioner sought cooperation from all stakeholders - political parties, media, civil society organisations and people at large - 'in making our elections totally free, fair, peaceful, accessible and ethical'.

"The Election Commission of India has begun preparations for the coming Lok Sabha elections next year, which we are committed to conducting in a free and fair manner," Arora said after taking charge.

"Our first and foremost priority is to give the country fair, credible, free, impartial and ethical elections," said Arora, while addressing the media persons at Nirvachan Sadan, the headquarters of ECI.

"For the Lok Sabha elections, we are making meticulous planning on all fronts including electronic voting machines (EVMs) and the voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT).

"We will go for massive dissemination activities about elections and creating awareness among voters through our highly credible 'Sweep' programme," Arora further said.

Talking about the impact of social media on elections, Arora informed that the committee formed by the ECI to review various facets of Section 126 of the Representation of People Act, 1951 under senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha is likely to submit the report by December end.

"We will take corrective measures on the basis of the recommendations the committee makes," he added.

Arora was appointed as Election Commissioner on August 31, 2017.

He had been the Information and Broadcasting Secretary, and Secretary in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

A 1980-batch IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre, Arora has also worked in ministries such as Finance, Textiles and Planning Commission.

He served as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation between 1999-2002 and CMD, Indian Airlines for five years (two years as additional charge and three years as full charge).

In Rajasthan, besides district postings in Dholpur, Alwar, Nagaur and Jodhpur, he was Secretary to the Chief Minister during 1993-1998.

He was the Principal Secretary to CM (2005-2008) and handled Information and Public Relations (IPR), Industries and Investment Departments.

With inputs from ANI


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