Jammu: Election Commission of India (ECI) has appointed the senior IAS officer and the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir P K Pole as the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Jammu and Kashmir.
He will replace another senior IAS officer Hirdesh Kumar, who proceeded on central deputation in September, 2022.
A communiqué in this connection issued by Rahul Sharma, Principal Secretary, the Secretariat of the Election Commission of India to the J&K CEO on January 31, 2023 read, “I am directed to forward herewith the Commission's Notification No. 154/J&K/2022-P-Admn dated January 31, 2023 appointing Pandurang Kondbarao Pole, IAS (AGMUT 2004) as CEO, J&K in place of Hirdesh Kumar (IAS)."
“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 13A of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 (43 of 1950), the Election Commission of India in consultation with the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir hereby designate Pandurang Kondbarao Pole, IAS (AGMUT:2004) as the Chief Electoral Officer for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir with effect from the date he takes over charge and until further orders in place of Hirdesh Kumar, IAS," the ECI notification read.
"Pandurang Kondbarao Pole shall cease to hold and handover forthwith the charge of all or any charges of work under the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, which he may be holding before such assumption of office. Pandurang Kondbarao Pole, while functioning as the Chief Electoral Officer, Jammu and Kashmir shall not hold any additional charge whatsoever under the Government of Jammu and Kashmir except that he should be designated Secretary to the Government in charge of the Election Department in the State Secretariat," the notification further read.
Pole has been serving as the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir since March 17, 2020. A native of Maharashtra, he has also served as the Deputy Commissioner Reasi and Secretary in the Department of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution.
Earlier, in September 2022, the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet had approved the ECI proposal appointing Hirdesh Kumar, IAS (AGMUT: 1999) as Deputy Election Commissioner, ECI for a period of five years. In December, 2022, the Joint CEO J&K Anil Salgotra was entrusted with the charge of the CEO, J&K till appointment of the CEO.