GUWAHATI: With the assembly elections in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura soon approaching as the terms of three assemblies are ending in the early part of the next year, the Election Commission of India is stepping up its efforts for conducting free and fair polls.
With this objective, the ECI has issued directions to the respective Chief Secretaries of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura to transfer those officials involved in conducting the polls who are currently posted in their home districts. Also officials who have completed 3 years of service in the same district in the last 4 years have also been asked to be transferred as per the directive.
The current tenure of the legislative assemblies in Meghalaya and Nagaland will end on March 15 and March 12 while for Tripura, it will be on March 22. There is high probability that notification for the conduct of polls in the three states will be issued by the Commission within January 2023.
It is worth mentioning here that all the three legislative assemblies consist of 60 seats. Either BJP or its regional coalition partners have their current governments in place in the three NE states.
In its letter to the Chief Secretaries of the three states, the ECI has stated that this directive is with regards to Commission's policy that officers directly engaged in conducting elections in a state are posted away from their home districts or places where they have served for a considerably longer period of time.
According, as per the regulations of the Election Commission of India, any official who has the responsibility of conducting elections are transferred if one is found to be posted in one's home district or has completed three years of his or her service in that district on or till March 2023.
The ECI said in its letter, "While calculating the period of three years, promotion to a post within the district is to be counted."
It may be mentioned here that apart from officials in the civil administration and other departments, these directives are also applicable to police officers with responsibilities of arranging or deploying police forces during elections.
However, the Commission also added that police officials who are engaged in departments like special branch, training and computerization are not covered by the same order.
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