With the arrival of new transfer policy from the Election Commission of India (ECI) in view of impending assembly elections in the state, reshuffle of officers directly associated with the conduct of elections has begun.
The Damocles’ sword hangs on the officers who have completed consecutive three years of service in the last four years in a particular place or who are posted in their home districts. The ECI had, last week, issued fresh instructions to the state election commission, which have been forwarded to all divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners-cum-district election officers (DEOs).
Apart from reiterating the home district and 3+ formula which is also applicable to police officers above the rank of sub-inspector, the ECI has instructed that the officers against whom disciplinary action was taken on the recommendations of the ECI or state election commission and the enquiry is still pending or those who were charged for lapses in the past elections, should not be posted for election work.
Officers involved in electoral roll revision work can be transferred after the final publication of electoral rolls.
The ECI has directed the DEOs to ensure that the transferred officers immediately handover their charge without waiting for their substitutes. The ECI has clarified that any officer, who was shifted on its directions in the past elections without recommendation of disciplinary action, should not be considered for transfer ‘just on this ground’. It has reiterated that officials on extension of service or re-employed would not be put on election duty. Those working in the office of election commission have been exempted from this condition.
Further, all election related officers will have to submit a declaration form within two days from the last date of nominations that none of their close relatives is contesting the elections and no criminal case is pending against them.
As fear of transfer looms large, officers likely to be shifted have started looking for favourable places of postings. It has also come to light that some of the DEOs, who do not want to lose particular subordinates due to ECI’s transfer policy, are trying to withdraw election work from them.
Tablets for booth-level officers
Kapurthala: With a view to reduce chances of mistakes of names, address and photographs in voters lists, the election commission has decided to provide tablets to all block-level officers for the upcoming assembly elections, scheduled next year.
Election commissioner of India AK Jyoti said this during his visit to the city for an inspection of the newly-developed polling booth at Government Elementary School, Roopanpur, on Monday.
Punjab chief electoral officer VK Singh; divisional commissioner Harbhupinder Singh Nanda; deputy commissioner Jaskiran Singh with other senior officials accompanied him during the visit.
VK Singh said that online submission through tablets will reduce chances of mistakes as an applicant can verify and recheck the details.
Jyoti also directed the officials to remove the name of dead voters from the voter list for an accurate number of live voters. He also told the media that everything would be under the scanner of the election commission and this time a strict vigilant on promises pertaining to freebies and sops by politicians ahead of polls will be kept.
Meanwhile, election commissioner asked the district administration to ensure 100% enrolment of new voters. New voters can apply for their voter ID card till October 7.