File photo of election commissioner Ashok Lavasa. | Photo: ANI
File photo of election commissioner Ashok Lavasa | Photo: ANI
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New Delhi: Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, who was next in line to become the Chief Election Commissioner, resigned Tuesday to join the Asian Development Bank.

According to sources, Lavasa submitted his resignation to President Ram Nath Kovind, and will be relieved from his duties on 31 August if his resignation is accepted.

ThePrint reached Lavasa for a comment, but he refused. An Election Commission of India spokesperson did not confirm the development either.

If accepted, Lavasa’s resignation will clear the way for Sushil Chandra to become the CEC once incumbent Sunil Arora retires from the post in April 2021.

Last month, the ADB appointed Lavasa as vice-president for Private Sector Operations and Public-Private Partnerships. He will succeed Diwakar Gupta, whose term will end on 31 August. Sources said the government had recommended a few nominees to the ADB, including Lavasa.

Also read: Path to honesty is tortuous, sometimes damaging: Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa

Controversies since Lok Sabha polls

Lavasa and his family have courted headlines often since the Lok Sabha polls last year, when he emerged as the lone dissenter in the Election Commission’s decision to give clean chits to Prime Minster Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for alleged poll code violations.

In the months that followed, a barrage of income tax notices were slapped against Lavasa’s wife Novel and son Abir.

An IAS officer of the 1980 batch, Lavasa had two years of tenure left in the ECI. He would have retired in October 2022 after overseeing elections in states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa.

Also read: Tax scrutiny, model code dissent, taking on BJP leaders – controversy has followed Lavasas


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