Mizoram CM writes to PM Modi seeking removal of chief electoral officer SB Shashank

Mizoram CM Lal Thanhawla

In a letter written to PM Modi by Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla on Monday, he asked immediate removal of state Chief Electoral Officer SB Shashank citing the reason that people have lost faith in him.

The letter read that his removal is the only solution for smooth conduct of the November 28 Assembly elections in Mizoram. “The only solution for smooth conduct of Assembly elections 2018 now would be removal of CEO SB Shashank from office forthwith,” the chief minister wrote in the letter, a copy of which is available with PTI.

“Additional CEO can take over Shashank’s responsibilities if making fresh arrangements were difficult at this juncture”, the chief minister wrote in the letter.

Shahshank had earlier complained about the principal secretary (home) Lalnunmawia Chuaungo, saying that he is interfering in the poll process owing to which the Election Commission had directed the government regarding his removal.

Clearing his stance, the CEO of Mizoram told reporters that that he was just fulfilling his responsibilities in accordance with the poll panel’s instructions.

He also said he had “no intention to hurt the sentiments” of the state’s civil societies and apologised for displeasing them.

“As the state chief electoral officer, it is my duty to intimate the EC about the developments. I can only hope that the civil societies will understand my position. I am sorry if I have hurt anybody,” he told reporters.

NGO Coordination Committee, the parent body of major civil societies and student organisations has protested against the CEO’s ‘pro-bru’ stance for conducting elections which has hurt their sentiments and demanded the removal of the CEO at the earliest.

Meanwhile, the chief minister has stressed that “there is no threat whatsoever to the Brus for casting their votes in Mizoram.”

Lal Thanhawla said, “One would think that there was some sort of emergency imposed in Mizoram, but for the simple fact that an incompetent officer has bungled up the election process.”

After Shashank had complained to the EC that Chuaungo is interfering in the roll revision of the Brus and the deployment of troops, Chuaungo was removed by the commission on Friday. In retaliation to this the famous civil society corporatrion, “NGO Co-ordination Committee”  sought the removal of CEO Shashank and also demanded that he should leave the state by on Monday. Shashank’s news conference was also boycotted.

Assembly elections in Mizoram are scheduled to be held on November 28 and the counting of votes will be done on December 11. Mizoram is the only north-eastern state to be under the rule of Congress.

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