Agartala, May 3 (IECurrentAffairs) The controversy over election in West Tripura parliamentary constituency in first phase has taken its toll further following BJP accusing Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sriram Taranikanti alleging him of conspiring against the government with opposition parties.
Talking to media BJP Spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharjee said a six-member party delegation led by Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman last evening met Chief Election Commissioner and lodged formal complaints with proof against Taranikanti seeking his removal from the post immediately.
“On the day of poll in West Tripura constituency on April 23, he had directed all Assistant Returning Officers to instruct all sectors-civil and police-to escort CPI (M) voters in the polling stations and drop them back, as the CPI (M) delegation had complaints that their polling agents were driven away and many willing voters were not allowed to cast their votes, which is completely illegal for CEO for a particular political party,” Bhattacharjee alleged.
His integrity as the key election conducting authority in the state has been strongly questioned for his alleged alacrity which many have felt as an un-proportional ‘electoral activism’, he commented adding that Taranikanti has transgressed the authority with impunity and without any consideration of electoral laws, rules and practices.
The party demanded immediate replacement of Taranikanti for his alleged partisan role and also to avoid a logjam and unrest amongst the civil service and other state employees.
In reference to it the civil service officers have come here in relation to the statement given by the TCS officers of the state as well as other state Government employees’ bodies. Chief Secretary L K Gupta based on preliminary inquiry into the allegations against the CEO referred the matter to ECI for final call.
Meanwhile, a large number of show cause notices and FIR were filed at the instructions of CEO and some arrests has created a serious flutter and unrest amongst the state government employees hired for conducting elections. The Assitant Returning Officer of Belonia in South Tripura Guncha Sanobar has served show cause notice to 21 persons and lodged FIR against 19 personnel and suspension order against 4 election personnel last night.
Two days ago three Presiding Officers and two Micro Observers of West Tripura have been suspended for willful insubordination and dereliction of duty on the poll day of the constituency on April 11. Immediately, after the elections suspension orders were issued against another 13 polling officials.
On the other hand, Returning officer of East Tripura and district magistrate of Dhalai district Vikas Singh have joined as RO west Tripura last evening replacing Dr Sandeep M Mahatme. The state government has not posted him anywhere so far while a panel of three officers – Additional Secretary of Chief Minister Dr Milind Ramteke, Municipal Commissioner of Agartala cum Mission Director of NHM Dr Sailesh Yadav and Additional home secretary Sharadendu Choudhury has been sent to ECI for posting as RO in East Tripura.
However, ECI has not yet announced repoll or fresh poll in West Tripura, which has been demanding by opposition parties alleging large scale violence, threat intimidation to voters and unlawful activities inside a large number of polling stations.