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Election Commission Appoints District Magistrates In 4 Districts In WB

08:51 AM Mar 23, 2024 IST | NEWS Desk
election commission appoints district magistrates in 4 districts in wb
Election Commission Appoints District Magistrates In 4 Districts In WB

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has appointed new District Magistrates in four districts of West Bengal.

This decision comes after the ECI ordered the removal of the DMs of East Midnapore, East Burdwan, Jhargram, and Birbhum districts

The new appointees are Joyoshi Das Gupta for Purba Medinipur, Moumita Godara Basu for Jhargram, K Radhika Ayer for Purba Bardhaman, and Shashank Sethi for Birbhum. The officials who were removed, including Bidhan Chandra Roy, Tanvir Afzal, Purnendu Kumar Majhi, and Sunil Agarwala, were all from the West Bengal Civil Service cadre.

Earlier, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had 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 had 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 had been asked to step down. Additionally, the secretaries of the General Administrative Department in Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh had been removed.

The DGP had been in the spotlight after the BJP and other opposition parties had 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 had sought justice against alleged atrocities committed by Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his aides.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission had also directed all state governments to transfer officers connected with election-related work, who had completed three years or were 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 had directed the transfer of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner and the additional / Deputy commissioners with the direction to report by 6pm that day. The Chief Secretary had been further directed to transfer all the similarly placed Municipal commissioners and Additional / Deputy Municipal Commissioners of other Corporations in Maharashtra.

This step had come as part of the Commission's resolve and commitment to maintaining a level playing field and ensuring the integrity of the electoral process, which had 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, had been held that day at noon.

The officials who had 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 have compromised or been 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 had said it had ensured that all stakeholders upheld the highest standards of integrity and impartiality, thereby safeguarding the level playing field in the entire electoral process.

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