Expressing its anger over the recent government orders relieving employees of some departments from election duty, the State Election Commission (SEC) on Sunday asked chief secretary NC Bajpai to revoke the orders forthwith.
In future, the chief secretary should ensure that his office or heads of other departments did not pass such orders, the commission said in a letter. These orders would become a major hurdle in the election process, the SEC warned.
It said all the government officers and employees automatically came under the SEC after notification of the urban local bodies election. It is the SEC that would decide which officer and employee would be sent on election duty, it said.
Recently, the chief secretary issued an order that Agriculture, Electricity, Irrigation and Sugarcane department employees would not be deputed on election duty. On Saturday, the SEC received information that even teachers would not be available for the job.
If government employees were exempted from election duty in this manner, who would conduct the election and count ballot papers, the letter wondered.
It said if any officer and employee wanted exemption from election duty, then the head of the department concerned would have to request the SEC. Only after the Election Commission’s approval would the employee get relief from election duty, it said.
Meanwhile, the SEC has also written to district magistrates not to entertain requests from heads of government departments to relieve any employee from election duty. Only the SEC’s directives should be implemented, as long as the election process was on, it said.