Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar

New Delhi: Rajiv Kumar, the former finance secretary, has been named the new chief election commissioner (CEC), according to law minister Kiren Rijiju.

Sushil Chandra, who is retiring on May 15, will be replaced by him.

“The President is pleased to nominate Shri Rajiv Kumar as the Chief Election Commissioner, effective May 15, 2022, in accordance with clause (2) of Article 324 of the Constitution. My warmest greetings to Shri Rajiv Kumar “Rijiju said.

Chief election commissioners serve for six years or until they reach the age of 65, whichever comes first.

After election commissioner Ashok Lavasa stepped down, Kumar, a 1984 batch Indian Administrative Service officer, joined the Election Commission of India (ECI) in September 2020. During his term, he will be in charge of the elections in Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

Last week, the delimitation procedure in J&K, which has been without an elected government since 2018, was finished, paving the path for elections.

Kumar’s term will overlap with the implementation of electoral changes, such as various dates for voter registration and the voluntary linkage of Aadhaar numbers to voter cards.

From September 2017 to February 2020, Kumar, who holds a master’s degree in public policy, was the finance secretary. He oversaw the financial services industry and was key in implementing banking reforms, according to the ECI website. “Kumar had suspended bank accounts of 3.38 lakh shell businesses used for establishing false equity as a starting point to stem the circulation of illicit money in a layered approach.”

From 2015 until 2017, Kumar worked as an establishment officer in the personnel and training department. Kumar wrote the Scheduled Tribes (Reorganisation of Forests Rights) Bill, 2005, as director and joint secretary in the tribal affairs ministry.

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