High-ranking Indian election official resigns ahead of polls

India’s second-highest ranked election commission official has resigned, the justice ministry conveyed, days before the anticipated  declaration of general elections in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will look for a third term. Mr Arun Goel resigned on March 9, leaving the Election Commission of India (ECI) with only one of its three top officials to conduct what will be the hugest activity of the democratic franchise in past of human existence.

Approximately a billion people are eligible to cast ballots in the elections, likely to be held in April-May.The Ministry of Law and Justice said Indian President Droupadi Murmu had agreed for Mr Goel’s resignation, but did not cite a reason for his departure.The NDTV news network revealed Mr Goel had resigned because of his “personal issues”, recognising sources. Other official had retired in 2023 and the position has not yet been filed.

The dates for the election, happening in many phases, are most probably going to be declared next week, according to local media reports. Mr K.C. Venugopal, general-secretary of the sole opposition Congress party, said Mr Goel’s resignation was a concern.“It is extremely concerning for the wellbeing of the world’s hugest democracy that election commissioner Arun Goel has resigned on the cusp of the Lok Sabha (parliamentary) elections,” he added in a social media post. “There is really not at all any sort of transparency in how a constitutional institution like the ECI has been moving and programming and the manner in which the government pressurises them.”