The Election Commission on Tuesday ordered suspension of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s special secretary DS Kutey for allegedly “interfering in conduct of elections” in the state, The Hindu reported.

The poll regulator also directed the state’s Inspector General of Police (chief minister’s security) Ashish Kumar Singh, who has been on a medical leave since May 4, to undergo a medical examination. In April, the government had transferred Singh from his posting as the inspector general of the central range on the Commission’s recommendation.

The Lok Sabha elections and the Assembly polls are taking place simultaneously in Odisha.

The action was taken on the information provided by the state’s chief electoral officer that the two officers were directly “exerting undue influence” on conduct of election work, the poll panel said.

Kutey, an Indian Police Service officer, has been directed by the Election Commission to report to Odisha’s resident commissioner in New Delhi by Wednesday.

“Chief Electoral Officer Odisha would provide to the Chief Secretary of Odisha draft of the charge sheet to be issued to Kutey and Odisha chief secretary would arrange chargesheet under relevant service rules by 5.00 pm of May 30,” the order said.

The chief electoral officer of Odisha has been asked to coordinate with the director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Bhubaneswar for constituting a special medical board to ascertain the illness and treatment that Singh took during his medical leave.

The Bharatiya Janata Party had last month accused Kutey of working for the ruling Biju Janata Dal by staying at the chief minister’s office, the Hindustan Times reported.

The state’s Opposition party had demanded that Kutey’s phones be seized to check his call details. The BJP had also demanded action against Singh for unduly influencing the election even after being transferred from the post of inspector general central range over similar allegations.

The Election Commission has also ordered an expeditious investigation against Prashant Jagadev, BJP’s candidate from the Khurda Assembly constituency, for damaging an Electronic Voting Machine at a polling booth on May 25. He was detained the same day.

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