Millennium Post

New CEC sounds out political parties on free and fair polls

New Delhi: Sunil Arora, who took over as the 23rd Chief Election Commissioner on Sunday, sought the cooperation of political parties and people to make elections "totally free, fair and ethical".

He succeeded O P Rawat who demitted office on Saturday.

The Lok Sabha elections, which are due next year, will be conducted by the poll panel under Arora, the 62-year-old former bureaucrat.

Besides the Parliamentary polls, the 2019 assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Maharashtra, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim will be held during his tenure.

He will be in office till October 2021.

After assuming charges, the new Chief Election Commissioner sought cooperation from all stakeholders - political parties, media, civil society organisations and people at large - "in making our elections free, fair, peaceful, accessible and ethical."

Arora was appointed as Election Commissioner on August 31, 2017.

He had been the Information and Broadcasting Secretary, and Secretary in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

A 1980-batch IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre, Arora has also worked in ministries such as Finance, Textiles and Planning Commission.

He served as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation between 1999-2002 and CMD, Indian Airlines for five years (two years as an additional charge and three years as full charge).

In Rajasthan, besides district postings in Dholpur, Alwar, Nagaur and Jodhpur, he was Secretary to the Chief Minister during 1993-1998.

He was the Principal Secretary to CM (2005-2008) and handled Information and Public Relations (IPR), Industries and Investment Departments.

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