According to Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Sukbhbir Sandhu and Gyanesh Kumar were named as new election commissioners.

Bureaucrats Sukhbir Sandhu and Gyanesh Kumar selected election commissioners by PM Modi-led panel, claimed Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

Former bureaucrats Sukhbir Sandhu and Gyanesh Kumar have been selected as new election commissioners by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection committee, said Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Thursday.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who is an Opposition member in the panel, however, registered his dissent and questioned the selection process, alleging the short-listed names of officers were not made available to him in advance.

Addressing reporters at his residence soon after the meeting ended, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said six names came up before the panel for the selection of the two election commissioners and the names of Sukhbir Sandhu and Gyanesh Kumar were finalised by a majority of members of the high-powered panel.

He, however, said the Chief Justice of India should have been part of the selection panel and there was no clarity on how six names were shortlisted from over 200 candidates that are said to have come before the search committee headed by the Law Minister.

The six names shortlisted were those of Utpal Kumar Singh, Pradeep Kumar Tripathi, Gyanesh Kumar, Indevar Pandey, Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, Sudhir Kumar Gangadhar Rahate, all former bureaucrats.

“They (government) have the majority. Earlier, they had given me 212 names, but 10 minutes before the appointment they again gave me just six names. I know that the Chief Justice of India isn’t there, The government has made such a law that the CJI doesn’t interfere and the central government can choose a favourable name. I am not saying that it’s arbitrary but the procedure that is being followed has some lacunae,” the Congress leaders said at a press conference after the meeting of the selection committee.

The vacancies had come up after the retirement of Anup Chandra Pandey on February 14 and the sudden resignation of Arun Goel.

By bemaad

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