The Election Commission (EC) on Saturday initiated the process of finding an alternative to Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) SB Shashank who is facing a massive agitation for his ouster by a conglomerate of civil society and students’ organisations.
A report published in the The Times of India quoted a Commission spokesperson as saying that in a meeting held in New Delhi on Saturday, the poll panel has “only decided to call for a panel of names for the post of State CEO from the Chief Secretary of Mizoram.” The spokesperson said “next steps” will “only be taken after receiving the report of the team led by Deputy Election Commissioner Sudip Jain”.
The report further stated that the State (read Mizoram) CEO SB Shashank had reportedly sought deployment of additional Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in the State and complained to the EC that the State’s former Principal Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo was “interfering with the poll process”.
Chuaungo, a native of Mizoram and a Gujarat-cadre IAS officer was relieved of his duties earlier this month. The NGO Coordination Committee – a conglomerate of civil societies and student organisations – along with other political leaders, had been demanding Shashank’s exit from the State since then.
The NGO also demanded that 11,232 Bru voters lodged in six Tripura relief camps be allowed to exercise their franchise at their respective polling stations in Mizoram and not in Tripura as committed by the poll panel in 2014. Meanwhile in Mizoram, the visiting Election Commission team led by Jain, left for New Delhi on Saturday after holding talks with the stakeholders in view of the demands for removal of Mizoram CEO SB Shashank, officials said.
The team would submit its report to the Election Commission, they said. The EC team met the NGO Coordination Committee, Church leaders, IAS Association leaders and visited the Myanmar border at Champhai in Mizoram before leaving for Delhi, they said.