ADB appoints Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa vice president

He will replace Diwakar Gupta, whose term will end on August 31

ashok-lavasa Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa

Ashok Lavasa, one of the two election commissioners of the Election Commission, has been appointed by the Asian Development Bank as a vice president.

The Asian Development Bank announced on Wednesday that Lavasa would be vice president for private sector operations and public-private partnerships. He will replace Diwakar Gupta, whose term will end on August 31. Gupta, who joined the ADB in 2015, had a long banking career, in particular with the State Bank of India.

A 1980 batch IAS officer of the Haryana cadre, Lavasa was appointed as election commissioner in January 2018.

In a press release on Lavasa's appointment, the ADB noted, "Lavasa led the Indian delegation in the climate change negotiations for the Paris Agreement and was instrumental in finalising India’s nationally determined contributions, which included a major role of the private sector. At both policy and project levels, he made significant contributions to the inclusion of the private sector in many development programs in India for different sectors such as energy, agriculture, finance, and infrastructure. As Joint Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, he worked closely with many ADB projects that had private sector components."

Lavasa had made headlines last year when he dissented with Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Satish Chandra on the issue of complaints against senior BJP leaders in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls. By a 2:1 majority, the Election Commission had said there was no substance in the complaints against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over speeches he made during poll campaigning. Lavasa, reportedly, skipped Election Commission meetings to protest against his dissent notes not being recorded.

Interestingly, in terms of seniority, Lavasa was next in line to be chief election commissioner after Sunil Arora retires early next year.