Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa to join ADB as Vice-President

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 15, 2020 Published on July 15, 2020

Ashok Lavasa, currently an Election Commissioner in the Election Commission of India, has been appointed as Vice President for Private Sector Operations and Public-Private Partnerships, Asian Development Bank, the bank said in a statement.

 Before the announcement, Lavasa was slated to take over from Sunil Arora, the current Chief Election Commissioner on his retirement. This is said to be the unwritten convention although several law Commission reports have noted that the senior-most EC should be appointed as CEC on the retirement of the incumbent CEC.

 Lavasa was the only member of the three-member Commission who reportedly gave dissenting notes against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for speeches made during the recently concluded General Elections which many considered a violation of the model code of conduct which was in place then. Close on the heels of the alleged dissent notes, some of the financial transactions of his son and wife came under the tight scrutiny of the authorities.

 A former CEC, who declined to be named said that this could be looked like a “safe exit” for Lavasa. Usually eminent civil servants join the Commission after retirement, and they spend the next few years there before retiring as CEC. Given that the Election Commission is an independent body, generally, none of the three members takes up positions offered by the government. The sole exception in the past few decades has been one CEC who joined politics after retiring from the Commission.

 Lavasa, a Haryana cadre IAS officer, joined the Election Commission in January 2018 after holding several posts at the Centre including being Secretary in the ministries of Finance, Environment and Forests and Civil Aviation among others.

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Published on July 15, 2020
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