Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami on Wednesday hinted that Election Commission may soon review functioning of the Chief Secretary Naveen Chandra Bajpai and the DGP Bua Singh to take a decision about their continuation in office. He also hinted that some districts may be allowed additional time of two to three days to publish final electoral rolls.
"We have not yet reviewed their ‘kamgiri’ (work) and appropriate decision about them would be taken after the review,” said CEC while speaking to media persons in Lucknow. The CEC was asked whether the EC would ask the state government to shift Chief Secretary and DGP before the Vidhan Sabha elections. “So far we have only reviewed work of Commissioners and District Magistrates,” said the CEC adding by and large there was no problem with the functioning of district officers so far.
The Election Commission has already asked the state government to remove officers who have continued on one post for more than three years. “We have not asked any particular officer to be removed during this visit,” said the CEC adding the state government must be preparing a list of officers who may have completed three years in districts.
Much significance is being attached to CEC’s observations on the issue in view of allegations of various political parties that official machinery played a partisan role during the elections to urban local bodies. The CEC who reviewed the preparation of electoral rolls of Lucknow and Kanpur divisions said electoral rolls would be published by January 3, 2007. Some districts may however be given additional time of two to three days to publish the electoral rolls.
“We will review the situation of all district on January 1, 2007 and if needed some district may be allowed two to three additional days,” said the CEC. “Most of the district magistrates do not need an extension,” said the CEC while responding to Lucknow divisional commissioner RK Mittal’s request to defer the date of publication of electoral rolls to January 10, 2007. Additions and deletions in the electoral rolls had been done and finalisation of electoral rolls may need some time, said Mittal adding this problem was there at other places as well. Other district magistrates present there supported Mittal’s contention. “We need to lay emphasis on publishing correct electoral rolls,” they said.
Replying to a question about the likely poll dates the CEC said the poll process would be completed by May 14, 2007. Asked about the deployment of security forces the CEC said the Election Commission had been deploying the Central Para Military Forces (CPMF) in every state going to poll.
The CEC said 40 per cent of the election photo identity cards were yet to be prepared. The cards already prepared were yet to be distributed, he said. Barring Kanpur he was not satisfied with the progress of preparation of electoral rolls in other divisions, said the CEC.