K J Rao, the Election Commission's pointman who acted tough to ensure a free and fair polls in Bihar and weed out bogus names in the rolls in West Bengal, has decided to call it a day.
The 64-year-old Rao, who worked with the Commission for decades, declined a fresh offer to continue for personal reasons.
Rao, who was a member of the investigation team that probed malpractices in Amethi, then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's constituency, in 1989, had retired four years ago but continued with the Commission in various capacities.
"He was offered a fresh extension in view of the coming assembly polls, which he declined on personal grounds," Chief Election Commissioner B B Tandon said, adding that Rao was thankful to the Commission for all the assistance in discharging his duties.
Rao put in his papers on February 28, a day before the announcement of assembly elections in five states and a few days after President A P J Abdul Kalam honoured him for his contribution in the conduct of elections in Jammu and Kashmir and Bihar.
He was among the 19 observers appointed by the Commission to look into complaints in electoral rolls in West Bengal, which will go to the polls in May.