Rajiv Kumar named new chief election commissioner | Latest News India

New Delhi: Former finance secretary Rajiv Kumar, 62, has been named as the new chief election commissioner (CEC), law minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted on Thursday. He will replace Sushil Chandra, who retires on May 15.

“In pursuance of clause (2) of article 324 of the Constitution, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Rajiv Kumar as the Chief Election Commissioner with effect from the 15th May, 2022. My best wishes to Shri Rajiv Kumar,” Rijiju said.

Chief election commissioners have a tenure of six years or until they turn 65, whichever is earlier.

Kumar, a 1984 batch Indian Administrative Service officer, joined the Election Commission of India (ECI) in September 2020 after election commissioner Ashok Lavasa stepped down. He will oversee the 2024 national polls as well as elections in Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) during his tenure.

The delimitation exercise was completed last week in J&K, which has been without an elected government since 2018, and paved the way for the elections there.

Kumar’s tenure will coincide with the implementation of electoral reforms including multiple dates of registration of voters and the voluntary linking of Aadhaar numbers with voter cards.

Kumar, who has a master’s degree in public policy, served as the finance secretary from September 2017 to February 2020. According to the ECI website, he supervised the financial services sector and was instrumental in introducing banking reforms. “As a starting point to curb circulation of black money in layered fashion…Kumar had frozen bank accounts of 3.38 lakh shell companies used for creating fictitious equity.”

Kumar served as the establishment officer in the personnel and training department from 2015 to 2017. As director and joint secretary in the tribal affairs ministry, Kumar drafted the Scheduled Tribes (Reorganisation of Forests Rights) Bill, 2005.

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