Some former chief election commissioners voiced their misgivings about the relatively inexperienced new batch of people in the Election Commission that will be leading the country in the Lok Sabha election in 2019. A closed-door meeting with the current chief election commissioner. OP Rawat and two election commissioners – Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa took place on the 21st of May. This meeting was attended by MS Gill, JM Lyngdoh, TS Krishnamurthy, BB Tandon. SY Quraishi, VS Sampath, HS Brahma and Nasim Zaidi – former chief election commissioners and former election commissioner GVG Krishnamurthy.
At the time of the 2019 election, OP Rawat, the current chief election commissioner will have stepped down leaving Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa. Arora who will become the chief election commissioner joined in September last year and will have spent less than two years in office at the time of the 2019 election. Lavasa, the second senior most, who joined in January 2018, has even less experience.
One of the former CECs said, “Some former chief election commissioners raised this concern since it can get very difficult to hold elections with an experience of a few months or one year. You need some thoroughness and about three to five years of experience to hold national-level elections.”
However, Arora who is a former IAS officer believes that during his time in the IAS he was constantly asked to join new jobs and would do his best to learn. Considering the criticism the Election Commission has faced in states like Gujarat, it is necessary he learns quickly if he is to ensure that the 2019 election is conducted freely and fairly, especially considering the dirty tricks the current government is capable of playing to retain power.