The Election Commission has asked the Mizoram government for a list of names of bureaucrats who can replace Chief Electoral Officer SB Shashank, a day after representatives of civil society organisations in the poll-bound state met a delegation of the election panel to demand Shashank’s removal, The Indian Express reported. A team led by Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain left the state on Saturday after meeting several stakeholders.
An unidentified spokesperson for the poll body told PTI that the Election Commission, in a meeting in New Delhi on Saturday, has “only decided to call for a panel of names for the state chief electoral officer from chief secretary of Mizoram [Arvind Ray]”.
This came a day after the Election Commission denied reports of Shashank’s removal and said the “next steps” would be decided only after Jain submits his report. However, civil society groups claimed that the delegation led by Jain has agreed to transfer Shashank.
Civil society groups as well as Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla have called for Shashank’s removal for his alleged role in the transfer of Principal Home Secretary L Chuaungo. The Election Commission transferred Chuaungo after Shashank accused him and the state’s Congress government of interfering with the revision of the electoral rolls ahead of the November 28 Assembly elections.
The agitators have also objected to Shashank’s decision to make special arrangements for Bru refugees from Mizoram to vote at their camps in Tripura. They want the refugees to vote at their respective polling stations in Mizoram. They called off their protest on Thursday after Shashank was summoned to Delhi.