Ashok Lavasa to join Asian Development Bank, quit as Election Commissioner

Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa has been appointed the vice president of the Philippines-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) and would oversee private sector operations and public-private partnerships, the bank said in a statement on Wednesday (July 15).


Lavasa who was second in line for the post of the Chief Election Commissioner will have to step down two years before the completion of his term (October 2022). His colleague Sushil Chandra would be next in line for the post.

Lavasa will be the second election commissioner after Nagendra Singh (1973) to leave the panel before the completion of his term. Singh was appointed a judge in the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

At ADB, Lavasa succeeds Diwakar Gupta whose term ends on August 31.

Ashok Lavasa has a long and distinguished career in the Indian civil service. He is currently one of the Election Commissioners of India, appointed in January 2019 and previously served in a range of senior posts including as Union Finance Secretary of India; Union Secretary for the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change; and Union Secretary for the Ministry of Civil Aviation. He has extensive experience in public–private partnerships and infrastructure development at the state and federal levels, with deep knowledge on public policy and the role of private sector.

Mr. Lavasa has an MBA degree from Southern Cross University in Australia, and MPhil in Defense and Strategic Studies degree from the University of Madras. He completed his Bachelor of Arts Degree with English Honors and a Master of Arts in English Literature from Delhi University.

If he had succeeded Sunil Arora, Lavasa would have overseen Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa, and Manipur.

A media report says his appointment with ADB was finalised at the nod of the central government. It is to be noted that Lavasa had refused to agree to the Election Commission’s decision to clear Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah of charges of violation of poll model code of conduct during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Later, the Income Tax department had also issued notices to his wife Novel Singhal Lavasa for alleged tax evasion.

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