The Election Commission (EC) has removed the current expenditure observer Mahesh Yadav and appointed Nabarun Dhar, who works with Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS), as a new expenditure observer for the Fatehgarh Sahib constituency.
The EC move came after a fact finding report submitted by the Punjab chief electoral officer (CEO) after verifying all allegations levelled by Yadav against the Fatehgarh Sahib and Ludhiana administrations.
Yadav had lodged a complaint with the EC, alleging the Ludhiana and Fatehgarh Sahib administrations of failing to comply with the guidelines of the poll panel. He had observed that the “rules were flouted” there. He also accused both the administrations of favouring the ruling party.
Following the complaint, the EC directed the CEO, Punjab, to look into the allegations made by Yadav. Additional electoral officer Raminder Singh visited Fatehgarh Sahib and previewed all video footages and cross verified all allegations levelled against the local administration.
Punjab chief electoral officer VK Singh said a fact finding inquiry was conducted and submitted to the EC. “The inquiry report doesn’t find any such discrepancies as were mentioned in the complaint lodged by the then expenditure observer,” said Singh.
While giving a clean chit to the administrations, Singh said it was learnt that there was some misunderstanding behind the whole issue.
A senior officer, who doesn’t want to be identified, said it seemed that there were some misunderstandings between them that prompted the then expenditure observer to lodge such type of complaint against the local administration.
The officer said the former expenditure observer “demanded an escort gypsy along with the security, but the administration refused as it was not entitled by the EC”.
The officer said it annoyed the former expenditure observer and the escort gypsy became a bone of contention, which ultimately resulted in him lodging a complaint with the EC against the administration.
There was a complaint against expenditure observer Mahesh Yadav, lodged by a Khanna woman, alleging that she was alone with her kids at home when he along with his team entered her house for removing flags.
However, Singh said nothing had come out of the complaint lodged by the woman against the then expenditure observer.
THE NEW OBSERVER
After joining at Fatehgarh Sahib as an expenditure observer, Nabarun Dhar, an officer of the Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS), held a meeting with district returning officer-cum-deputy commissioner Arun Sekhri along with other officers late on Wednesday evening.
He would be available in room number 305 at the administrative complex between 4pm and 5pm to meet complainants; and over phone number 97806-21250 besides attending complaints on his email address on firstname.lastname@example.org