CHENNAI: Sandeep Saxena, a 1989 batch IAS officer, was on Monday announced as the new Chief Electoral Officer of Tamil Nadu.
He will replace Praveen Kumar, whose tenure in the sensitive post, has been noted for accessibility and outreach.
Saxena has been serving as the Commissioner of Agricultural Production from November 2011. Before holding this post, he had served for three years in the Health & Family Welfare Department, first as Managing Director of the Medical Services Corporation and then as Managing Director of the State Co-operative Marketing Federation.
Saxena had functioned as Secretary to the Governor for a 10-month period in 2008. He has also earlier served in the Transport Department and Industries departments. A native of Madhya Pradesh, Saxena has served there on deputation there on two stints, serving in the Health & Family Welfare and Commercial Taxes Departments and a stint at the helm of the Madhya Pradesh Silk Marketing Board, apart from his posting as Collector of Damoh district.
Saxena will replace 1987 batch officer Praveen Kumar, who has served as the CEO of the State during the 2011 Assembly elections and the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, apart from a number of bye-elections. Kumar’s term was marked with a substantial increase in its public profile. He increased the outreach of his office by setting up a Facebook page, and is known to have often interacted personally with those who commented on it.
Kumar had also increased the accessibility of information from his office, often available to members of public over e-mail, and keeping reporters in the loop by setting up a Whatsapp group to disseminate information and updates.
However, the DMK had alleged in a complaint to the President that Kumar had acted in a partisan manner during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, in which the party had faced a humiliating defeat.