President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday gave his approval to the appointment of Sunil Arora as the new Chief Election Commissioner. Arora, a Rajasthan cadre IAS officer of 1980-batch, will be in his post until 2021, meaning that he will also oversee the next year’s Lok Sabha polls. Arora is expected to replace OP Rawat, who retired on Saturday, on 2 December.
President Kovind gave his approval to his name after receiving the recommendation from the Union Law Ministry.
The 62-year-old civil servant, who is currently an election commissioner, has held several high profile posts in his career before being appointed as the CEC.
A CEC’s tenure usually lasts six years unless the post holder reaches the retirement age of 65. Arora was appointed as election commissioner in August last year.
Among his past roles as a bureaucrat has been his tenure as information and broadcasting secretary and the secretary in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. He has served in other ministries such as finance, textiles and the Planning Commission.
Arora was also the joint secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation between 1999 and 2002 before being appointed as the CMD, Indian Airlines for five years. His tenure as the CMD of Indian Airlines included two years as additional charge and three years as full charge.
In his early career as an IAS officer, he had several district-level postings in Dholpur, Alwar, Nagaur and Jodhpur. Arora also served as the secretary to the chief minister for five years starting in 1993. He was then appointed as the principal secretary the chief minister between 2005 and 2008.
Lok Sabha polls wouldn’t be the only big responsibility for Arora as the new CEC. Next year will also a series of assembly elections in states such as in Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Maharashtra, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.