Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, Gyanesh Kumar new EC members

Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, Gyanesh Kumar

Rama Krishna Sangem

Former bureaucrats Sukhbir Singh Sandhu and Gyanesh Kumar have been named as the new election commissioners by a panel chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, committee member and Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said on  March 14, Thursday. Both Sandhu and Gyanesh are retired IAS officers served in various capacities.

Addressing reporters at his residence soon after the meeting ended, Chowdhury said six names came up before the panel for the selection of the two ECs and the names of Sandhu and 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


6 shorted listed

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

“Of the six names, the names of Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu were finalised for appointment as election commissioners,” he said. During his tenure in the Home ministry, Gyanesh Kumar oversaw the abrogation of Article 370.

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


Schedule may come anytime

With this, the schedule for 18th Lok Sabha may be announced anytime soon. Most probably by March 17, Saturday or 18, Sunday, sources say.  The new commissioners may take charge on March 15 and start their work. Already, EC teams have been touring or just returned from their country tours to assess poll preparedness of the state and official machinery. Polls to Jammu and Kashmir assembly too are likely to be held along with those of Lok Sabha.

Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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Rama Krishna Sangem

Excel India national news magazine is a media startup founded and piloted by Rama Krishna Sangem, a Hyderabad based senior journalist with over three decade experience in the field of media, mostly in print journalism. His rich experience in reporting for both Telugu and English newspapers and heading a TV news channel and some online outfits will be of immense use to this venture. Excel India English news magazine seeks to fill the gap of analytical understanding to our readers who today are confronted with myriad media platforms. Our online version not only offers regular updates and commentary on happenings around us, but also gives larger stories not limited by space constraints of a print magazine. Excel India is ably run by a team of senior journalists committed to values and quality standards in the profession. We urge you all to support and guide us in this endeavour. Reach us at