President Ram Nath Kovind has accepted the resignation of Ashok Lavasa as Election Commissioner, a notification by the Ministry of Law and Justice said on Wednesday. Lavasa had on Tuesday sent his resignation as Election Commissioner to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
"...the President is pleased to accept the resignation tendered by Shri Ashok Lavasa, Election Commissioner with effect from the 31st August, 2020," the notification said.
Lavasa was next in line to head the poll panel. He would soon be joining the Asian Development Bank as vice president, sources said.
He would be joining the Philippines-based ADB sometime in September, they added.
"The ADB has appointed Ashok Lavasa as Vice-President for Private Sector Operations and Public-Private Partnerships," the multilateral lending agency had said in a statement last month. "
He will succeed Diwakar Gupta, whose term will end on August 31.
Lavasa's term in the EC would have ended in October 2022 had he become the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).
He is the second election commissioner to step down from the poll panel before the completion of his term. In 1973, CEC Nagendra Singh resigned after he was appointed a judge in the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
Lavasa's resignation comes at a time when the Election Commission is preparing to hold Bihar assembly polls amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Lavasa, a career bureaucrat, joined as Election Commissioner on January 23, 2018, and being senior most on the poll panel would have become CEC in April next year after the term of incumbent Sunil Arora ends.Lavasa made headlines during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when he gave a dissenting note to the Election Commission of India (ECI) giving a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former BJP president Amit Shah on allegations of violating the Model Code of Conduct.