S Y Quraishi, Election Commissioner, was today appointed the new Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) in the place of Navin Chawla, who demits office on Thursday.
The notification elevating 63-year-old Quraishi as head of the three-member election body was issued today. He will have a little less than two years in the Constitutional post. Chawla, who took over in the middle of 2009 Lok Sabha polls, headed the Commission for a little more a year.
"In pursuance of Clause 2 of Art 324 of the Constitution, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Shahabuddin Yaqub Quraishi as Chief Election Commissioner with effect from 30th August, 2010," said the Law Ministry notification.
Quraishi, a thoroughbred civil servant, will conduct assembly elections in Bihar later this year and in a bunch of states like Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala and Assam next
"I feel deeply honoured on being entrusted with this assignment. Election Commission of India is an institution in which the nation places a great trust. It would be my utmost endeavour to prove myself worthy of this trust," Quraishi told PTI reacting to his appointment.
On the occasion, he sought the support of all stakeholders, especially the people in the discharge of his sacred duties.
The government will have to appoint a new Election Commission with the elevation of Quraishi. V S Sampath is the other Election Commissioner.
A 1971-batch IAS officer, Quraishi entered the Commission in June 2006 after 35 years in the civil service at both the Centre and state levels. Prior to joining the Commission, he was Secretary in the Sports and Youth Affairs Ministry at the Centre.
He had held several key positions in the government and made special contribution in the area of social sector reforms covering health, education, population, drug abuse and civil society action.
Quraishi said during the last four years as Election Commissioner, he was proud to be part of one of the august institutions that the framers of the Constitution have gifted to the country while insulating it from all possible pressures.
"The judiciary, especially the Supreme Court also has zealously guarded the Election Commission against any assault on its autonomy and independence and ensured that it grows from strength to strength" Quraishi said.
"In our multi-member Commission that has the principle of equality as its hallmark, any transition is marked by continuity. This has also contributed to the impartiality and absolute neutrality of the Commission at all times," he said.
He said elections in India were known not only for their scale, but also for their credibility.
"I realise the responsibility that the Election Commission carries towards keeping India’s democracy firmly on the rails. I have abiding faith that the Commission will continue to deliver on its mandate, in the face of all challenges old and new, as it has always done in the past," he added.
S Y Quraishi Replaces Navin Chawla as CEC
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