New Delhi: Sushil Chandra has taken over as the 24th new Chief Election Commissioner of India today. He has replaced Sunil Arora. Arora was relieved of his post yesterday after completing his term on 12 April 2021.
Sushil Chandra is working as Election Commissioner in the Election Commission from 15 February 2019. He is also a member of the Delimitation Commission since 18 February 2018 and is looking after the delimitation of Jammu and Kashmir. Sushil Chandra has also been the Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) from 01 November 2016 to 14 February 2019, after working in various positions in the Income Tax Department for nearly 39 years.
During his presidency in the CBDT, Chandra played an active role in tracing illicit funds during the assembly elections. Due to his constant monitoring, cash, liquor, goods given to woo voters and drugs were seized in large quantities during the recent assembly elections.
He has consistently emphasized the concept of “temptation-free” elections which have become an important part of monitoring the process of the upcoming elections. A focused and comprehensive process of monitoring through the deployment of special expenditure supervisors, increasing the role of various repatriation agencies in the process of electoral spending monitoring, reviews by supervisors and other agencies at wide and regular intervals are some of the methods of election management which They have taken it forward. The introduction of the practice of Form 26 for change in the system is also an indication of his contribution to this exercise which has now become an integral part of the paperwork in the elections. As the chairman of CBDT, he made special efforts to verify affidavits (affidavits) given by candidates before the elections. As the CBDT President in the year 2018, Mr. Chandra played an important role in preparing a uniform format for giving details of all the assets and liabilities of the candidates which are not mentioned in the affidavits of the candidates. Mr. Chandra’s use of IT applications in the elections to the seventeenth Lok Sabha in 2019 and in the Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim, Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Delhi assembly elections have been some of the unique contributions.
The conduct of elections to Bihar, Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal Legislative Assembly and submission of online forms in the nomination process, senior citizens, PwDs, personnel of essential services and some typical of Kovid infected / suspected patients amidst Kovid challenges. The choice of postal ballots for categories is one such example where Chandra has persevered despite the challenges.
The Election Commission family bid farewell to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora retiring on 12 April 2021. After coming to the Election Commission in September 2017, Arora in his 43 months and around 29 months tenure as CEC in 2019. Successfully conducted elections to 17th Lok Sabha and 25 Legislative Assemblies.
While giving a heartfelt farewell to Arora, Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar mentioned various steps taken during the tenure of Mr. Arora in the commission. These include giving the option of postal ballots to senior citizens and differently abled voters, setting up of India A-Web Center and voluntary rules of conduct. He said that during his tenure, Mr. Arora laid special emphasis on ensuring integrated and accessible elections. He said that Shri Arora will continue to be the source of support for the entire Election Commission family.
Sunil Arora thanked all the members of the commission in his address and conveyed his best wishes for the successful conduct of all elections in the future. He said that every election is a different kind of challenge in itself but it was the most difficult to conduct elections to the 17th Lok Sabha and the Bihar Assembly elections during the Kovid epidemic. He also congratulated all the officers / personnel of the Commission engaged in successful conduct of these elections for their hard work and excellent planning.