Election commissioners will be appointed by President either on March 13 or 14

Following the surprise resignation of Arun Goel as the election Commissioner (EC), sources said on sunday that two election commissioners are likely to be appointed on march 15 under the chairmanship of prime minister Narendra Modi. This comes as a move to fill the vacancies created by the retirement of Anup Chandra Pandey and Goel’s resignation. A selection committee meeting will also be conducted, headed by PM Modi along with a Union minister and Lok Sabha’s leader of Opposition Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who will name two persons for the appointment as election commissioners, reported. Following this, the official appointment will be done by the President.

Goel resigned on friday morning just ahead of the poll panel’s announcement for the schedule for the lok sabha polls. His resignation was accepted by President Droupadi Murmu on saturday and the Law Ministry issued a notification to announce it.

This leaves Chief election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar as the sole member of the poll authority. Pandey had demitted office on february 14 on attaining the age of 65 years. The election commissioners will be appointed by the President. Sources said the selection committee could meet either on march 13 or 14 depending on the convenience of the members and the appointments are likely to be made by march 15.

Before a new law on the appointment of CEC and ECs came into force recently, the election commissioners were appointed by the President on the government’s recommendation and as per custom, the senior-most was appointed as CEC. Clause 2 of Article 324 of the Constitution states that the election commission shall consist of the Chief election Commissioner and such number of other election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix. Responding to questions on reasons behind Goel’s resignation, the sources said he might have resigned due to personal reasons. They also rejected suggestions that there were differences between Goel and Kumar, saying records of internal communication, minutes and decisions show there was no dissent recorded by Goel.

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