Navin Chawla today demitted office as the Chief Election Commissioner after a 15-month tenure at the helm at the end of a controversial tenure when he faced an unprecedented demand for his removal by his predecessor N Gopalswamy.
Chawla was given a farewell by the Election Commission staff in which Election Commissioners S Y Quraishi and V Sampath were present. Quraishi will be taking over as the new CEC tomorrow. In the afternoon, senior officials hosted him a lunch.
The tenure of Chawla took over in the midst of 2009 Lok Sabha elections from N Gopalswamy, who created a storm by recommending his removal accusing him of partisanship on a petition filed by BJP before him.
The charges were strongly denied by Chawla and the government also rejected Gopalsamy's recommendation before elevating Chawla.
Chawla also wrote to the government recommending a Constitutional amendment equating the Election Commissioners with the CEC in the matter of their removal. At present the Constitution has a provision for government to remove the ECs on the recommendation of the CEC.
Before taking over as the Election Commissioner in 2005, Chawla was Secretary of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Chawla Demits Office as Chief Election Commissioner
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