Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Joti will succeed Nasim Zaidi as the next Chief Election Commissioner, Law ministry confirmed on Tuesday. The 64-year-old, who served as the chief secretary of Gujarat when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister, will assume the charge as the head of the Election Commission on July 6, a notification issued by the law ministry said. Zaidi will demit office on Wednesday.
A 1975-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, Joti had joined the three-member poll panel as an election commissioner on May 8, 2015 and would be in office till January 17 next year. He retired as the Gujarat chief secretary in January 2013. He will be the 21st CEC.
Joti has also served as the Gujarat vigilance commissioner and worked in various capacities in the state, including as the chairman of the Kandla Port Trust between 1999 and 2004 and the managing director of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL). In addition, he was the secretary in the industry, revenue and water supply departments in the state.
As per the law, a CEC or an Election Commissioner can have a tenure of six years or hold office till the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
The government will also appoint one more Election Commissioner to fill up the vacancy caused by Zaidi’s retirement. Om Prakash Rawat is the other election commissioner in the poll panel.