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Poll panel removes Mizoram’s Home Secretary, NGO demands CEO’s expulsion

Poll panel removes Mizoram’s Home Secretary, NGO demands CEO’s expulsion

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  4 Nov 2018 10:06 AM GMT

AIZAWL : The Election Commission (EC) has removed the Mizoram Principal Secretary (Home) from his post for “dereliction of duty and interference in election process”, an official said on Saturday.

Soon after the order, an umbrella organisation of civil societies and student bodies of the State — Mizoram’s NGO Coordination Committee — has demanded removal of Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) SB Shashank, alleging he has lost the trust of the people.

“The Election Commission in an order on Friday has asked the Mizoram government to remove Lalnunmawia Chuaungo as the Principal Secretary (Home). If he continues to hold his post, it would have an adverse effect on conduct of smooth, free and fair election process in the State,” a Mizoram Election Department official said, quoting the poll panel direction.

The official said the commission also asked the State government and the state election authorities not to assign Chuaungo any election-related works in Mizoram till the poll process is over. The EC order came after reports appeared in the media that Chuaungo was “interfering with the election process and not following commission’s all directions”. The ruling and opposition parties, however, remained non-committal on the EC’s order. The Mizoram’s NGO Coordination Committee issued a statement asking the CEO to leave the state by Monday afternoon.

Shashank was not immediately available for his comment.

The Election Commission on Friday issued the statutory notification for November 28 Assembly elections in Mizoram.

According to the notification, the last date for submitting candidature is November 9, the scrutiny of nominations will take place on November 12 and the last date for withdrawal of nominations is November 14.

The five-year term of the 40-member Mizoram Assembly expires on December 15.

In all 768,181 voters, including 393,685 women, are eligible to votes in 1,164 polling stations across the mountainous State, which shares borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh.

All political parties, including the ruling Congress, opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), besides other smaller parties, have already declared their candidates for the polls. (IANS)

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