Newly-appointed Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra on Tuesday assumed charge of his office, PTI reported. Chandra was appointed as the next chief election commissioner on Monday as the tenure of Sunil Arora, the former head of the electoral body, ended.

Chandra took over as the chief of the Election Commission of India amid elections in four states and one Union Territory. The electorate in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry voted in a single phase on April 6. Polls in Assam and West Bengal are being held in multiple phases between March 27 and April 29. These results will be declared on May 2. During his tenure, which will end on May 14, 2022, Chandra will also oversee elections in Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Goa, Uttarakhand, and Punjab.

Chandra was appointed as an election commissioner in February 2019, only a few weeks ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, reported NDTV. He belongs to the 1980 batch of the Indian Revenue Service. Before his stint as an election commissioner, Chandra served as the Central Board of Direct Taxes chairperson between November 2016 and February 2019. The CBDT is a body that looks after the work of policy administration and implementation of direct taxes in India.

“Shri Chandra has a rich and varied experience in various areas of taxation, having held sensitive posts in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi,” a government statement said. “He has worked in the areas of litigation, compliance management and international taxation. His forte has been in the field of Investigation where he spent considerable time as Director of Investigation and Director General of Investigation, Mumbai and Gujarat, respectively followed by his stint as Member (Investigation), CBDT.”

The changes come amid allegations from non-Bharatiya Janata Parties that the poll panel has been partial to the saffron party during these Assembly elections.

West Bengal Chief Minister, who was on Monday banned from campaigning for 24 hours, has alleged that the Election Commission was following orders from the ruling BJP at the Centre. Banerjee had also alleged that the BJP tried to manipulate the election by capturing a booth in Nandigram during the second phase of voting. The poll panel has refuted the allegations, saying that the claims were factually incorrect, “without any empirical evidence whatsoever and devoid of substance”.

On April 3, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had tweeted “Election ‘Commission’” in a veiled criticism after the electronic voting machine used to cast the ballots was found in a car belonging to a BJP candidate in Assam. The EC suspended four officials.