Election Commissioner Sunil Arora is all set to head the poll panel after incumbent Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat demits office on December 1 as he turns 65.

Though a formal notification announcing his appointment had not been issued at the time of writing, highly-placed sources in the Law Ministry said Arora’s name has been cleared by the Centre and sent to Rashtrapati Bhawan.

“Yes. His name has been cleared. He is the next CEC. A notification will follow,” PTI quoted a senior functionary as saying.

A former Rajasthan-cadre IAS officer of 1980 batch, Sunil Arora (62) will take over as the new CEC on December 2.

The change of guard comes at a time when the EC is in the middle of holding Assembly elections in five states. The 2019 general elections will be held under Arora.

Besides the Lok Sabha polls, Assembly elections scheduled to be held in several states next year. These states include Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Maharashtra, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

A CEC can have a tenure of six years or hold office till the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. As per protocol, the senior-most election commissioner is appointed as the CEC.

Arora was appointed as election commissioner on August 31, 2017.

The former bureaucrat had been the information and broadcasting secretary, and secretary in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. He has also worked in finance and textiles ministries, and the Planning Commission.

Arora also served as joint secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation during 1999-2002 and the CMD, Indian Airlines, for five years.

(With agency inputs)