The Telegraph
Friday , May 8 , 2015

Gujarat officer heads to poll panel

May 7: Achal Kumar Joti, who had served as Gujarat chief secretary when Narendra Modi was chief minister, has been appointed central election commissioner.

Joti, who is 62 and is currently the state's chief vigilance commissioner, will have a three-year term at the poll panel during which he will oversee the 2017 Assembly polls.

Joti said in Ahmedabad that he is yet to receive the notification on his appointment.

The poll panel is a three-member body, headed by the chief election commissioner (CEC). Nasim Zaidi is the current CEC. But two top posts had been vacant in the panel since January, after V.S. Sampath and H.S. Brahma retired. Joti will fill one slot but the other is still vacant.

The Centre has drawn flak in Parliament for keeping other key posts such as those of the chief vigilance commissioner, chief information commissioner and a slot in the Lokpal vacant for long.

Joti, a 1975 batch IAS officer, had retired as chief secretary in 2013. Before that, he had served in other key positions, as the managing director of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam and the chairman of the Kandla Port Trust, both state-run entities.

Earlier, as additional chief secretary, Joti had drawn praise from Modi for spending long hours in rural areas each day overseeing projects.

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