Election Commission on Thursday removed the Chief electoral Officer of Mizoram, SB Shashank following a massive protest from the citizens asking for his removal. Shashank has been replaced by Ashish Kundra, an IAS officer from a 1996 batch office.
“The Election Commission of India in consultation with the Government of Mizoram hereby nominates Ashish Kundra as the chief electoral officer for the state of Mizoram with immediate effect,” a notification issued by the EC said.
The move comes just two weeks before the assembly polls to be held on November 28.
Around a week ago, the CM of Mizoram, Lal Thanhawla had written to PM Modi demanding Shashank’s removal as the latter had played a role allegedly in the removal of former principal secretary of state Lalnunmawia Chuaungo. Shashank had complained that Chuaungo is interfering in the electoral revision of Bru refugees from Mizoram following which the EC ordered his immediate removal.
This did not go down well with the people and NGO Coordination Committee who had given an ultimatum for Shashank to leave urgently.
The ‘Bru’ community has been living in relief camps in Tripura since ethnic violence drove them away in 1997. Most Mizos, including the state government, are opposed to the Election Commission’s proposal for allowing Brus to vote at their camps and want them to return to Mizoram for that.
Mizoram is currently ruled by the Congress, the only north-east state to be under its rule. The state will go to polls on November 28.