District election officer and district magistrate (DM) Nidhi Kesarwani on Wednesday evening ordered FIRs to be lodged against 121 government servants under provisions of The Representation of the People Act, 1951. They were to act as presiding officers, but were found absent from the training session conducted at Ingraham Institute School on Wednesday.
“The orders were given after a number of personnel were found absent in the training session. We have come to know that their departments have even sent the names of people already on leaves, including maternity leaves etc. The district magistrate has said that such names should be verified and absentees should be allowed to give their explanations before lodging FIRs,” said Gyanendra Singh, additional district magistrate, Ghaziabad. The DM could not be reached despite repeated attempts.
According to officials, around 6,000 persons are to be trained over three days at the school complex for various election duties. A batch of 40 personnel is being trained in different rooms for the purpose.
Those against whom the FIR is recommended include personnel of Ghaziabad development authority (GDA), public sector banks, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and others. A total of 1,530 personnel to be deputed as presiding officers were trained on Wednesday about electronic voting machines (EVMs) used during the polls.
In a similar development in Gautam Budh Nagar, the DM on Wednesday issued show cause notices to government employees who did not attend election-related training sessions.
DM and district election officer NP Singh issued the notices to over 100 such government servants. Poll duty is mandatory as per directions of the Election Commission of India (ECI).
“We have issued the notices and directed officials to inform us the dates on which they will alternatively attend the training programme. If we do not receive a satisfactory reply from the missing officials, an FIR will be lodged against them,” said Singh.
In the run up to the polls, the district administration has launched a five-day training programme for officials on election duty.
According to officials, the mock poll training programme was started at the Balak Inter College in Bisrakh, Greater Noida from Tuesday. To be conducted in two shifts, the four-part programme aims to train 1,300 poll duty officials daily from 9.30am to 4pm.