If the Varanasi administration in Uttar Pradesh has its way, the district could witness the unusual spectacle of defence personnel conducting the coming Lok Sabha polls.
In a move that has kicked up a storm in the armed forces circles, the district administration has ordered serving defence officers to join election duty in roles usually performed by civilian government staff, defence ministry sources told PTI.
A March 23 departmental order from Varanasi Additional District Magistrate RK Singh has asked two serving army officers and an Indian Air Force's Warrant Officer to join election duty as presiding officers of polling booths in the district.
The district administration, sources said, has also sought defence vehicles to be deployed for election work.
What's more, the defence officers have been threatened by the ADM with a police FIR for not complying with the ADM's order, sources said.
When contacted over phone, Varanasi District Magistrate Ajay Upadhyay admitted the departmental order seeking the services of the defence personnel was issued but claimed the matter had been resolved and the defence officers have been exempted from poll-related civilian duty.