In a surprise move, Election Commissioner Arun Goel resigned days ahead of declaration of Lok Sabha polls. Goel’s resignation has left the three-member Chief Election Commission with only Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar. The other Election Commissioner besides Goel was Anup Pandey who had completed his tenure in February and since then the Government had not brought any replacement for him.

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Goel’s resignation, less than four years before he would have completed his tenure in December, 2027, was on Saturday accepted by President Droupadi Murmu. “In pursuance of clause (1) of Section 11 of The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Act, 2023, the President is pleased to accept the resignation tendered by Shri Arun Goel, Election Commissioner with effect from the 09th March, 2024,” read the gazette notification issued by Union Law Ministry on Saturday. His resignation has set off speculations as the Commission was to travel to Jammu and Kashmir to oversee poll preparations before the announcement of general election schedule for 2024. A retired 1985-batch IAS officer of Punjab cadre, Goel became Election Commissioner in November of 2022.