CEO ‘ouster’ demand crisis: EC deputes special team to Mizoram

CEO ‘ouster’ demand crisis: EC deputes special team to Mizoram

Aizawl, Nov 6: In view of the complex situation arising out of the demand for the ouster of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) S B Shashank and the NGOs body threatening to 'gherao' his office from Tuesday morning, the Election Commission has deputed a three-member high level team to Mizoram to assess the ground situation.

The team will comprise of L Khiangte, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Jharkhand, Nikhil Kumar, Director at Election Commission and S B Joshi, Secretary Election Commission. Khiangte is a Mizo official, sources said.

According to official sources here, the special Election Commission delegation will visit Aizawl on Tuesday and "have discussions with senior officers of the state government and representatives of the Joint NGO Coordination Committee" and try to resolve the impasse.

A large number of Mizo volunteers of Young Mizo Association and other social organisations under the aegis of NGOs Committee have threatened to 'gherao' the office of the Chief Electoral Officer S B Shashank here to protest his style of functioning from Tuesday morning.

The NGO's body has announced that Mr Shashank, who is being seen as taking a pro-Brus stance and is also responsible for transfer of a Mizo IAS officer as Home Secretary, would not be allowed to attend office.

The actions against the then Home Secreary Lalnunmawaia Chuaungo by the Election Commission was taken following formal complaints from the CEO S. B. Shashank that Mr Chuaungo was "interfering with the election process".

The issue essentially relates to Mr Shashank's allegedly 'subtle support' to the cause of Brus or Reangs.

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". (UNI)