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Mizoram CM wants CEO removed

Mizoram CM wants CEO removed
S.B. Shashank and Lalnunmawia Chuaungo (File)
AIZAWL, NOV 5 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 11/5/2018 11:25:04 AM IST

Mizoram chief minister Lal Thanhawla on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the immediate removal of state Chief Electoral Officer S.B. Shashank as “people have lost faith in him”.

Shashank’s removal is the only solution for smooth conduct of the November 28 Assembly elections, the chief minister said in his letter.

He said people of Mizoram have lost faith in the CEO after he complained to the Election Commission of India (ECI) that principal secretary (home) Lalnunmawia Chuaungo was interfering in the poll process. Chuaungo, a 1987-batch Gujarat-cadre IAS officer, was relieved of his responsibilities in the state.

The EC has instructed him to report before the Ministry of Home Affairs in Delhi. “The only solution for smooth conduct of Assembly elections 2018 now would be removal of CEO S B Shashank from office forthwith,” the chief minister wrote in the letter, a copy of which is available with PTI. He also suggested that Shashank be replaced by an additional chief electoral officer.

“Additional Chief Electoral Officer can take over Shashank’s responsibilities if making fresh arrangements were difficult at this juncture,” the chief minister said.

Earlier in the day, the CEO S.B. Shashank told reporters here that he was fulfilling his responsibilities in accordance with the poll panel’s instructions, amid growing demand for his ouster by the civil societies.

He also said he had “no intention to hurt the sentiments” of the state’s civil societies and apologized for rankling them.

BJP backs Congress govt; demands removal of CEO

Mizoram BJP on Monday joined the bandwagon in the state led by NGOs demanding the ‘ouster’ of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) S.B. Sashank for his role in the drastic action against the former Home Secretary Lalnunmawaia Chuaungo.

“I express my solidarity with my people, and request that you do everything in your power to neutralise the situation so that the election process to the state legislative be allowed to move forward peacefully,” state BJP president J V Hluna said in his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said in the light of the developments related to Home Secretary’s transfer and the stand taken by the CEO and Election Commission - “.

CSOs to gherao office

Volunteers of Young Mizo Association (YMA) on Monday stopped private trucks and buses going to Silchar in Assam to transport or bring in central armed police force for deployment in poll-bound Mizoram, a UNI report stated. The move was in protest against state chief electoral officer (CEO) S B Shashank, who was served with ‘Quit Mizoram’ notice on Friday last.

“The quit notice served to CEO comes into force as the November 5 (Monday) deadline ends.

Buses and private trucks were stopped near Kolasib - about 90 km from here - while they were going down to Silchar,” a source told UNI.

The Young Mizo Association-spearheaded Mizoram’s NGO Coordination Committee has, meanwhile, decided to ‘gherao’ state CEO’s office at Treasury Square here from around 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

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