Who is Arun Goel, the former bureaucrat appointed as new election commissioner?

Election Commissioner Arun Goel
Election Commissioner Arun Goel

Election Commissioner Arun Goel, a former bureaucrat and Punjab cadre officer, was sworn in on Monday as India’s third and final election commissioner. It had been vacant for six months. Goel joins Rajiv Kumar and Anup Chandra Pandey as chief election commissioners.

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The post had been vacant since former CEC Sushil Chandra retired on May 14, handing over responsibility to Rajiv Kumar. Multiple times since then, the poll body has been under severe pressure, such as the disqualification of Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren.

Goel’s appointment has been approved by President Droupadi Murmu, according to the union law ministry. With effect from the date he assumes office, the President appoints Arun Goel, IAS (Retd.) (PB: 1985) as Election Commissioner in the Election Commission.

Read: Supreme Court Seeks File On Election Commissioner Chosen Last Week

Here are five things you should know about Arun Goel:

Arun Goel is an IAS officer of the Punjab cadre from the 1985 batch. Last Friday, he voluntarily retired at the age of 60 instead of retiring on December 31.

Until his voluntary retirement, he served as the heavy industries secretary. He previously served in the union ministry of culture.

Goel’s appointment comes days before elections in Gujarat, which may see heightened political tension between the ruling BJP, the opposition Congress, and the newcomers.

Upon the retirement of incumbent Rajiv Kumar in February 2025, Arun Goel will become chief election commissioner (CEC). As per law, election commissioners or CECs can hold their positions for up to six years or until they reach the age of 65.

With Goel in charge, the poll panel can now decide on the schedule for elections in Karnataka, Telangana, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura and Karnataka next year.

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