Navin Chawla today took over as the new Chief Election Commissioner succeeding N Gopalaswami, who not long ago had recommended his removal from Nirvachan Sadan sparking a huge political controversy.
Power Secretary VS Sampath also took over as the third Election Commissioner following the elevation of Chawla.
64-year-old Chawla, who was the senior-most Election Commissioner after Gopalaswami in the three-member panel, will remain in office till June 29 next year when he turns 65.
The Chief Election Commissioner, a Constitutional post, enjoys a term of six years or till the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
He is the first CEC, who took over in the midst of a five-phased Lok Sabha elections and will oversee four phases of the polls.
The elevation of Chawla, who was appointed as Election Commissioner on May 13, 2005, comes after a controversy triggered by Gopalaswami's recommendation to the President for his removal from office for alleged partisan functioning.
The government had not only turned down Gopalswami's recommendation but had even announced on March four that Chawla would succeed him as CEC.
While demitting office yesterday after an eventful stint, Goplaswami wished Chawla "a very bright tenure".