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Gopalaswami to be next CEC,
govt mulls panel’s expansion
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 5
Although N.Gopalaswami is expected to be take over as the next Chief Election Commissioner, succeeding Mr B. B. Tandon who is retiring on June 29, well-placed sources informed that the government was contemplating to expand the three-member poll panel to make it a five-member body.

Sources pointed out that though the government had not taken any decision to this effect, it was being considered to make the Constitutional body more representative in nature, considering the tricky matters it had to decide and the increasing attack on the role of the Commission in the conduct of elections.

It is learnt that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has cleared Mr Gopalaswami’s appointment to the top post by following the seniority norm.

Mr Gopalasawmi will succeed Mr B.B. Tandon whose tenure ends on June 29. He would remain the CEC till February 2009.

It is keenly watched who would fill the third slot in the Commission. The name of Home Secretary V.K. Duggal is currently doing the rounds for the post.

Mr Navin Chawla, whom the BJP alleged had received funds from Congress MPs for a trust run by his wife, is the third member of the Election Commission.

Mr Gopalaswami, a former Union Home Secretary, became the Election Commissioner on February 8 last year.

A Gujarat-cadre IAS officer of the 1966 batch, he served in the state in various capacities for 25 years.

Besides working as Secretary General, National Human Rights Commission, from September 1998 to July 2001, Mr Gopalaswami also served as the Union Culture Secretary from July 2001 to October 2002.

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