Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi on Friday assumed charge as the 17th Chief Election Commissioner of India (CEC), succeeding Navin B Chawla.
Prior to this, S Y Quraishi served as Election Commissioner for 4 years since June 30, 2006. Belonging to the 1971 batch (Haryana Cadre) of the Indian Administrative Service, Quraishi served as secretary in the Ministry Of Sports And Youth Affairs.
During his long career spanning about 40 years, he held several key positions, including that of Special Secretary in the Health Ministry, Director General of National AIDS Control Organisation and Director General, Doordarshan.
Reading out a statement soon after assumption of charge, Quraishi said, "I take over this office with a sense of deep honour and pride. The Election Commission is one of the most valuable gifts of the Indian Constitution to the people. I had the opportunity of serving this august institution with equal pride as Election Commissioner for the last 4 years. While the framers of the Constitution insulated the Election Commission from all possible pressures, it is the judiciary that has zealously guarded the independence of the commission against any assault. The Supreme Court has ensured that this Commission only grows stronger."
Listing out his priorities, Quraishi said "Enhancing voters' participation and restricting the role of money power in elections are among the emerging challenges. These will receive due priority. We are already working systematically to achieve a perfect electoral roll at the earliest."
He further added "we would continuously strive to deliver free and fair elections wherever and whenever required. At the same time, despite the strength of the Commission's heritage, our systems are continuously evolving. We not only deal with issues as we confront them, we try to anticipate several of them."
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