EC directs Govt to remove all local, overstaying officers

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Oct 29: The Election Commission has directed the civil and police authorities to immediately remove all officers posted in their home towns and those who have completed their three years tenure at one particular post and inform to the Commission the details of all such orders.
The Commission directive came following complaints from some political parties and likely contestants for the elections that some overstaying officials have not been shifted by the Government while some others were posted in their home towns deliberately by the ruling parties to influence the voters.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the Election Commission has directed top brass of civil and police administration to immediately shift all the civil and police officers, connected with the election duty, from their home towns. Also the officers, who have completed their three years stay on one post, should be transferred immediately to another post, excepting their home towns immediately, the EC has directed.
Sources said civil and police authorities have already ordered series of transfers and postings in which they have shifted the local officers, who were concerned with the electoral process, from their home towns to other places. Similarly, the overstaying officers were also shifted in anticipation of Assembly elections.
However, some officers might still be posted in the home towns or continue to enjoy posting at one place even after three years. The Election Commission has directed that all such officers should be removed with immediate effect and the Commission informed accordingly.
Sources said the civil and police administration have conveyed to the concerned officers about the directive of the Election Commission and asked them to immediately shift the local and overstaying officers. They added that entire exercise has to be completed within the next two to three days.
The Commission’s directive assumed significance for ensuring free and fair elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
Sources confirmed that some political parties and individual candidates, who were likely to jump into electoral fray, had complained about local officers posted in their areas or some officers overstaying in the particular places.
Meanwhile, 25 candidates today secured nomination forms from Returning Officers (ROs) in six Assembly constituencies of Doda, Ramban and Kishtwar districts but so far no nomination has been filed by any candidate for these seats, which will go to polls in first phase in Jammu region.
For four seats of Ladakh also, no nomination was filed on second day. Only BJP candidate Tsering Dorjey has taken the nomination form so far for Leh Assembly segment. November 5 is last date for filing of nomination paper for 15 Assembly seats including 6 in erstwhile Doda district, 4 in Ladakh and five in Kashmir Valley. These segments will go to polls on November 25.
Sources said six candidates each have secured nomination forms for Inderwal and Kishtwar Assembly constituencies while three candidates each have taken papers for Doda and Bhaderwah seat.
In Ramban, three candidates including sitting Congress MLA Ashok Bhagat, former NC MLA Dr Chaman Lal and PDP candidate Swami Raj Bhagat have taken nomination forms. In Banihal Assembly segment, NC candidate Sajjad Shaheen and BJP candidate Showkat Daing have secured the forms.
No candidate has taken nomination form for any of the two Assembly segments in Kargil district so far.

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