Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, who was next in the line to head the poll panel, has been appointed as vice president for Private Sector Operations and Public-Private Partnerships at the Asian Development Bank. The surprise announcement was made by the regional development bank on Wednesday.
Lavasa would be only the second election commissioner to step down from the poll panel before completion of his term. The last time an election commissioner put in his papers was in 1973 when chief election commissioner Nagendra Singh was appointed a judge in the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
The ADB statement said Lavasa succeeds Diwakar Gupta whose term ends on August 31.
Lavasa, a retired IAS officer, was appointed as election commissioner in January 2018 and would be in line to be appointed as the chief election commissioner when Sunil Arora completes his term if the government sticks to the tradition of appointing the senior-most commissioner to the top post. There is, however, no rule that requires the President to stick to this convention.
The retired 1980 batch IAS officer did not agree with the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) decisions to clear Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then BJP president Amit Shah of charges of violating Model Code of Conduct (MCC) during the 2019 general elections.
Lavasa later told Hindustan Times thathe had no axe to grind. “My concern is to have a system of disposal of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) vi