Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat was on Sunday appointed the new Chief Election Commissioner, official sources said. He will succeed A K Joti, who retires on Monday. A retired 1977-batch IAS officer of the Madhya Pradesh cadre, Rawat had taken charge as Election Commissioner of India on August 14, 2015.
The 64-year old held several important posts before that. He was Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises from where he retired on December 31, 2013. In 1994, when he was Joint Secretary in the Defence Ministry, Rawat was deputed to South Africa as the UN election observer to oversee first post-apartheid elections in that country.
Read | Who is Om Prakash Rawat?
He was appointed principal secretary to then Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Babu Lal Gaur in August 2004 and remained in office till January 2006. In April 2010, he received the Prime Minister’s award for excellence in public administration for the innovative group initiative “Recognition of Forest Rights”.
The government has also appointed former finance secretary Ashok Lavasa as an Election Commissioner.
Lavasa’s appointment takes care of the vacancy that would have arisen in the three-member Commission when Joti demits office. Sunil Arora is the other commissioner in the poll body.
Rawat’s tenure will end in December this year and Arora, the seniormost commissioner after the CEC, is expected to take over as the head of the poll panel as per convention.