Naveen Chawla to replace Gopalaswami as CEC

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New Delhi, Mar 1 (ANI): Election Commissioner Naveen Chawla has been appointed as next Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).

A Rashtrapati Bhavan commnique has said that the President Pratibha Patil has approved the name of Chawla for the post.

Patil on Sunday rejected CEC N Gopalaswami's recommendation to remove Chawla from the poll panel.

The CEC had written to the President in January to remove Chawla, triggering an unseemly row in the constitutional panel and a bitter war of words between the Congress-led UPA government and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

Chawla is known for his proximity to the Congress party. Two years back, he was alleged to have taken money from Congress politicians for his family trust.

In January 2008, BJP leaders took the matter up with the CEC Gopalaswami who served a notice on Chawla.

However, Gopalaswami has claimed that his adverse recommendation, which comes a whole year after BJP's complaint, is based on his own experience and observations of Chawla"s work as Election Commissioner.

In his affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court, Gopalaswami has said that the CEC had suo motu (where an agency acts on its own cognizance) power to recommend the removal of an Election Commissioner.

Gopalaswami will retire as CEC on April 20. (ANI)

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