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    Sukhbir Sandhu and Gyanesh Kumar, 1988-batch retired IAS Officers, named as new Poll Commissioners | Action Punjab

    ACTION PUNJAB NEWS Desk: In a significant development, bureaucrats Sukhbir Singh Sandhu and Gyanesh Kumar have been appointed to fill the vacant positions in the top panel of the Election Commission of India. The announcement came from Congress leader in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, during a press briefing this afternoon.

    Chowdhury disclosed that he participated in the panel chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which selected the two Election Commissioners to assist Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar in overseeing the preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha election. Alongside the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also attended the crucial meeting.

    Expressing criticism over the absence of the Chief Justice of India on the selection committee, Chowdhury condemned the law enacted last year that replaced the Chief Justice with a Union Minister. He deemed the meeting as a mere “formality” due to the government’s majority on the panel, stating, “What they want happens.”

    Chowdhury revealed receiving 212 names for consideration the night before the meeting, expressing disappointment over the lack of time for scrutiny. He further highlighted the disparity in the process, claiming that a shortlist of only 6 names was provided just ten minutes before the meeting. Despite issuing a dissent note questioning the selection procedure, Chowdhury expressed his inability to influence the outcome.

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    The newly appointed Election Commissioners, Sukhbir Sandhu and Gyanesh Kumar, are retired IAS officers of the 1988-batch. Sandhu hails from the Uttarakhand cadre of IAS, while Kumar belongs to the Kerala cadre. Sandhu previously held prominent government roles, including Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand and chairman of the National Highways Authority of India, whereas Kumar served as secretary in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and the Ministry of Cooperation led by Amit Shah.

    The appointments come on the eve of the Supreme Court’s hearing on petitions challenging the selection process. The process, which now involves a search committee led by the Law Minister and a selection panel led by the Prime Minister, was altered last year, replacing the Chief Justice of India with a Union Minister. This change has sparked controversy, prompting challenges from the Association for Democratic Reforms and Congress leader Jaya Thakur in the Supreme Court, with proceedings scheduled for tomorrow.

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    (Inputs from agencies)


    Author: actionpunjab

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