Concerned over a number of "senior civil servants" jumping into the electoral fray, the Election Commission has asked the government to bring in a "cooling off period" clause between leaving the government job and joining a political party by these officials.
The Department of Personnel recently received a letter from the Election Commission in this regard, suggesting amendments in service rules of IAS, IPS and other class 'A' services officials.
While there are rules that restrict a civil servant from joining a private job for at least an year after he or she retires or resigns from the government service, there are no rules regarding joining political parties or joining active politics.
The Commission has asked the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to suggest a "suitable" cooling off period for these officials so that they remain impartial during their tenure as civil servants and take decisions with integrity while they serve.
The Commission, according to the letter, was concerned in this regard as it found "many instances where civil servants including police officials" have joined political parties in their respective states just after retiring or have put in their papers to join the battle at the hustings.
The EC has asked DoPT to take suitable action in this regard so that the overall level playing field is maintained during the polls.