Why did Arun Goel resign as election commissioner? CEC Rajiv Kumar replies | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Why did Arun Goel resign as election commissioner? CEC Rajiv Kumar replies

Mar 17, 2024 06:20 AM IST

Election commissioner's first reaction: Describing Arun Goel as a “distinguished team member", Rajiv Kumar said, “There will always be dissent in the ECI.”

Chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar, in his first reaction to the abrupt resignation of election commissioner Arun Goel, on Saturday said the panel respects if he had “personal reasons” to quit. Rajiv Kumar, flanked by two new election commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, was responding to reporters after announcing the schedule for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar and ex-election commissioner Arun Goel. (PTI file)
Chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar and ex-election commissioner Arun Goel. (PTI file)

Describing Arun Goel as a “distinguished team member", Rajiv Kumar said, “There will always be dissent in the Election Commission of India.” Follow Lok Sabha Election 2024 Date LIVE Updates

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"I thoroughly enjoyed working with him all the time. But in every institution, somebody will have to be given personal space and I am sure that the personal space should not be touched and one should not be insensitive to ask personal questions. If he had personal reasons, it is fine, you must respect it," Rajiv Kumar replied when a reporter asked him about the reason behind Arun Goel's resignation.

On March 9, Arun Goel resigned as the election commissioner days before the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections schedule. The Opposition hit out at the government, questioning if Arun Goel resigned was because of “differences” with it or with Kumar.

On Thursday, former IAS officers Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Sandhu were appointed as election commissioners. The law ministry issued a notification announcing the appointments.

A selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met earlier in the day to recommend their names.

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

Lok Sabha election 2024 dates: 7-phase polling from April 19, results on June 4

  • Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases beginning on April 19 and the counting of votes will take place on June 4, Rajiv Kumar said.
  • The other phases will be on April 26, May 7, May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1.
  • Assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim will be held on April 19, and in Andhra Pradesh on May 13. Elections to Odisha assembly will be held in four phases on May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1.
  • Bypolls will also be held for 26 assembly constituencies.
  • Polling will be held in all seven phases in three states - Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The CEC said the poll authority is prepared to counter the challenges of four ‘M's – muscle power, money power, misinformation and Model Code of Conduct violations.

(With inputs from agencies)

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