Election Commissioners: The committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi met on Thursday to select two election commissioners. After the meeting, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary, an opposition member in the three-member selection committee, said that former bureaucrats Sukhbir Singh Sandhu and Gyanesh Kumar have been appointed as the new Election Commissioners. Both these posts were vacant following the retirement of Anoop Chandra Pandey in February and the surprise resignation of Arun Goyal last Saturday.

Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said on Friday that Gyanesh Kumar from Kerala and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu from Punjab have been selected as election commissioners. Chaudhary was part of the panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to select two election commissioners to assist Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar. The Election Commission is preparing for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Apart from the Prime Minister and Chaudhary, Union Home Minister Amit Shah was also present in the meeting.

The Congress leader targeted the Center over the law to include a Union Minister in place of the Chief Justice of India in the selection committee. "The CJI should have been in this committee," he said, adding that the law brought in last year has limited the meeting to a mere "formality". The government is in the majority in the panel. It's whatever they want."
Discussion took place on 6 names

Chaudhary said that the selection committee had presented 6 names. These included the names of Utpal Kumar Singh, Pradeep Kumar Tripathi, Gyanesh Kumar, Indeevar Pandey, Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, and Gangadhar Rahat. Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu have been selected as Election Commissioners.

The high-powered committee led by the Prime Minister met on Thursday to finalize the two names. Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chaudhary were also present in the committee meeting. Chaudhary said that the Chief Justice of India (CJI) should have been part of the selection committee of election commissioners.

Based on the recommendation of the selection committee, President Draupadi Murmu will appoint two members of the Election Commission. These will be the first appointments to be made under the new law once the appointments are notified.

Earlier, the search committee constituted under the chairmanship of Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal had prepared a list of six candidates on Wednesday to fill these posts. The law also gives the three-member selection committee the power to appoint a person who has not been 'shortlisted' by the selection committee.

The posts have been vacant since March 8

Both the posts became vacant due to the retirement of Anoop Chandra Pandey on 14 February and the sudden resignation of Arun Goyal on 8 March. Goyal's resignation was notified on March 9. Due to vacant posts, there is currently only Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar in the Election Commission.

Before the recent enactment of the new law on the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners, the Election Commissioners were appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Government. As per tradition, the most senior was appointed as the Chief Election Commissioner.