ANI Photo | EC orders removal of West Bengal DGP, Home Secretaries in 6 states to ensure fair elections

Ahead of the ensuing Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday issued orders for the removal of West Bengal’s Director General of Police Rajeev Kumar and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner Iqbal Chahal along with some other senior officials from various states.
The ECI has also ordered the removal of certain key officials of six states in what it termed a decisive move towards upholding the principles of free, fair and transparent elections.
Home Secretaries in six states-namely Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have been asked to step down. Additionally, the secretaries of the General Administrative Department in Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh have been removed.
The DGP had been in the spotlight after the BJP and other opposition parties criticised the Bengal police for alleged inaction in giving justice to the victims of Sandeshkhali.
The Sandeshkhali area had been witnessing unrest after women protestors sought justice against alleged atrocities committed by Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his aides.
Meanwhile, the Election commission also directed all the State governments to transfer officers connected with election-related work, who have completed three years or are in their home districts.
Maharashtra had not complied with the directions in respect of few Municipal Commissioners and some Additional / Deputy Municipal Commissioners.
While conveying displeasure to the Chief Secretary, the Commission directed the transfer of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner and the additional / Deputy commissioners with the direction to report by 6pm today.
The Chief Secretary was further directed to transfer all the similarly placed Municipal commissioners and Additional / Deputy Municipal Commissioners of other Corporations in Maharashtra.
This step comes as part of the Commission’s resolve and commitment to maintaining a level playing field and ensuring the integrity of the electoral process, which has been emphasised by CEC Rajiv Kumar time and again and recently during the press conference for the announcement of Schedule for General Elections 2024.
The Commission meeting, chaired by Rajiv Kumar, comprising of Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu was held today at noon.
The officials who have been removed in these seven states were found to be holding dual charges in the office of Chief Minister in respective states which may potentially compromise or be seen to be compromising the impartiality and neutrality required during the electoral process, especially in matters relating to law and order, deployment of forces, etc.
Through these measures, the Commission says it has ensured that all stakeholders uphold the highest standards of integrity and impartiality, thereby safeguarding the level playing field in the entire electoral process

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