Mizoram Chief Minister Seeks Chief Electoral Officer's Removal

The people of Mizoram have lost faith in Mizoram's Chief Electoral Officer SB Shashank, chief minister Lal Thanhawla wrote in a letter to PM Modi.

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Mizoram Chief Minister Seeks Chief Electoral Officer's Removal

Election Commission had earlier directed government to remove a principal secretary-level officer.


Aizawl: 

Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking immediate removal of state Chief Electoral Officer SB Shashank.

His removal is the only solution for smooth conduct of the November 28 Assembly elections, the chief minister said in his letter.

He said people of Mizoram had lost faith in him after he complained to the Election Commission (EC) that principal secretary (home) Lalnunmawia Chuaungo, was interfering in the poll process. He has been relieved of his responsibilities in the state.

"The only solution for smooth conduct of Assembly elections 2018 now would be removal of CEO SB Shashank from office forthwith," the chief minister wrote in the letter, a copy of which is available with news agency PTI. He also suggested that Mr Shashank be replaced by an additional chief electoral officer.

"Additional CEO can take over Shashank's responsibilities if making fresh arrangements were difficult at this juncture," the chief minister said.

Earlier in the day, the CEO told reporters here that he was fulfilling his responsibilities in accordance with the poll panel's instructions, amid growing demand for his ouster by the civil societies.

He also said he had "no intention to hurt the sentiments" of the state's civil societies and apologised for rankling them.

"As the state chief electoral officer, it is my duty to intimate the EC about the developments. I can only hope that the civil societies will understand my position. I am sorry if I have hurt anybody," he told reporters.

NGO Coordination Committee, an umbrella body of major civil societies and student organisations, has sought Mr Shashank's exit at the earliest and issued a statement to say it would picket the state election office from Tuesday.

The announcement was made after the members of the committee attended a state government meeting in the afternoon, chaired by Chief Secretary Arvind Ray.

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