Amid ‘Quit Mizoram’ notice, CEO Sashank urges civil society to listen to ‘inner voice’

Amid ‘Quit Mizoram’ notice, CEO Sashank urges civil society to listen to ‘inner voice’

Aizawl, Nov 5: Amid major crisis sparked off by the demand for the 'ouster' of the Mizoram CEO

S B Sashank from the state by Monday evening, the controversial poll officer here said he never hand any intention to 'hurt' the sentiments of the local population and that he strictly went by the rules of the game in seeking the transfer of a local Mizo official as the Principal Home Secretary.

"As the state CEO, it is my responsibility that we fulfill the mandate of the Election Commission. I never had an intention of hurting the sentiment of the local Mizos or the civil society," Mr Sashank told reporters here.

Mr Sashank said: "The civil society has to understand my position as an officer and what I am supposed to do".

"This is a very rational society (about Mizoram)," he said adding- "I am sorry......I appeal to the civil society here to rise up to their rational, they should listen to their inner voice and they should see that what an officer is supposed to do".

"If their sentiment has been hurt, I am sorry," he said referring to the 'quit notice' served to him by the NGOs spearheaded by Young Mizo Association.

The influential civil society body -- the Mizoram's NGO Coordination Committee -- on Friday evening demanded immediate ouster of the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shashank and set the deadline of Monday, November 5 - 'fall of dusk'.

The umbrella organisation of poll-bound Mizoram state's major civil societies and student bodies accused Mr Shashank of 'working against the efforts' by all stake holders to ensure free, fair and peaceful polls to the 40-member state assembly to be held on November 28.

"I feel the civil societies will understand my position as an officer," he said.

Referring to the functional relationship between him and the then Principal Secretary Home Lalnunmawaia Chuaungo, a Gujarat cadre local Mizo IAS officer on deputation to Mizoram, he said.."At times, I kept silent but the senior officer (Mr Chuaungo) has been interfering in the affairs of conduct of elections".

There have been times, the then Home Secretary issued orders which directly confronted the order of the CEO (Sashank) and on seeking clarification, for days the Home department did not respond.

The Home Secretary has even served a notice to the Deputy CEO why "so much central armed police force" were being requisitioned by the state CEO. "We found this as interfering into the process of security management of conduct of elections," Mr Sashank said.

Meanwhile, the state Chief Secretary Arvind Rai and other senior police and civil officials on Monday sought to reach out to the civil society and had begun a meeting with NGOs Committee to resolve the crisis.

Senior officials will later in the day meet leaders of church conglomerate Mizo Kohhran Hruaitute Committee (MKHC).(UNI)