ECI shakes up district administration in five states

Commission said that action is demonstration of dedication and promise to uphold fairness and preserve the integrity of the electoral process.

New Delhi: Taking forward its commitment for a level playing field in the ongoing Lok Sabha Elections 2024, the Election Commission of India (ECI) today has issued transfer orders for non-cadre officers who are posted at leadership positions as District Magistrate (DM) and Superintendent of Police (SP) in four states namely Gujarat, Punjab, Odisha and West Bengal.

The post of DM and SP in the district are encadred for officers from Indian Administrative and Indian Police Service respectively.

The Commission said that this action is a demonstration of the Commission’s dedication and promise to uphold fairness and preserve the integrity of the electoral process, a sentiment repeatedly emphasized by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar.

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The decision was taken after the commission convened a meeting chaired by CEC Rajiv Kumar along with Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu.

The officers to be transferred are SPs of Chhota Udaipur and Ahmedabad Rural districts in Gujarat. SSPs of Pathankot, Fazilka, Jalandhar Rural and Malerkotla districts in Punjab.

Also transferred are the DM of Dhenkanal and SPs of Deogarh and Cuttack Rural in Odisha and DM of Purba Medinipur, Jhargram, Purba Bardhaman and Birbhum districts of West Bengal.

Additionally, the Commission has also directed for transfer of SSP Bathinda in Punjab and SP Sonitpur in Assam in view of their kinship or familial association with the elected political representatives. The officials in these two districts have been transferred as pre-emptive measures to dispel any apprehensions of administration being biased or perceived to be compromised.

Under the directive, all respective state governments have been instructed to promptly transfer non-encadred officers from their current roles as DM and SP/SSP, with immediate effect, and submit a compliance report to the Commission.

Earlier on March 18, in a decisive move towards upholding the principles of free, fair and transparent elections, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued orders for the removal of Home Secretaries in six states namely Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

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