Lal Thanhawla seeks Rajnath’s intervention to resolve ‘ouster’ CEO crisis in Mizoram

Lal Thanhawla seeks Rajnath’s intervention to resolve ‘ouster’ CEO crisis in Mizoram

Aizawl, Nov 5: Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla on Monday sought immediate intervention of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to resolve the socio-political and administrative crisis triggered by the transfer of state Home Secretary Lalnunmawaia Chuaungo, a Gujarat cadre Mizo IAS officer, and the subsequent demand for the ouster of the CEO S B Sashank.

In a letter to Mr Rajnath Singh, the Chief Minister said Mizoram has always conducted elections in the state in a fair and peaceful manner.

"However, this time around it is due to the inept handling by an inexperienced and incompetent Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) that prompted the Election Commission to take drastic action (transfer of the Home Secretary Chuaungo)," the Chief Minister wrote.

He said the civil society in the society has not taken the issue "lightly" and went on to add: "...we in the government also fully supported" the stand of the NGOs that Brus (or Reangs) in Tripura relief camps come to Mizoram and cast votes like other citizens from outside the state do during elections.

Asked to comment on the Chief Minister's letter to the Union Home Minister against him, the CEO Sashank told UNI: "I am not aware of any such letter from the Chief Minister".

"I am sorry if I have hurt the sentiments of local population....But I went by the text book and did my job". "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," he said.

The apex body of the Bru refugees had last month appealed to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) O P Rawat to set up polling booths in relief camps in Tripura so that they could exercise franchise in the Mizoram assembly election on November 28.

Mizo groups and public leaders have held this demand 'unjustified' and said if the Brus have been 'repatriated' to Mizoram and are to take part in the elections in Mizoram - then they ought to vote in "normal polling booths only". "Why such special arrangement can be made, this is undemocratic," YMA president Vanlalruata said. (UNI)