Retired bureaucrat Arun Goel appointed election commissioner
Retired bureaucrat Arun Goel has been appointed election commissioner ahead of the crucial assembly election in Gujarat. The third post in the country’s highest electoral body has been vacant for almost six months.
A Ministry of Justice statement this evening read: “The President is pleased to appoint Shri Arun Goel, IAS (Retired) (PB: 1985) as Elections Commissioner in the Elections Commission effective the date he assumes his duties”.
A senior Punjab officer from the 1985 batch, Mr Goel will join Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey in the polling panel.
Former chief election commissioner Sushil Chandra retired in May this year, leaving the post to Rajiv Kumar. The voting committee has since consisted of two members and has had to deal with several crucial issues, including the disqualification demands of Jharkhand’s Chief Minister, Hemant Soren.
The poll panel will have its full force when it decides on the timing of elections for Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura and Karnataka in the coming months.
Until recently, Mr. Goel was the Secretary of Heavy Industries and also served in the Union Ministry of Culture. He was due to retire on December 31, 2022, but his voluntary retirement took effect on November 18.
Once he takes office, Mr Goel will be in line to be the next chief election commissioner following the resignation of Rajiv Kumar in February 2025.
According to the Election Commissioners Appointment, Terms of Service and Retirement Act, a person can serve as an EC or CEC for six years or until the age of 65, whichever comes first. Mr. Goel will serve until December 2027.