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Report to election duty by today or face suspension: Maha EC warns govt officers

Around 10% of government officers assigned election duties have failed to report to their respective commissionerates.

mumbai Updated: Apr 27, 2017 11:46 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times
Maharashtra election commission,election duties,elections
Elections for 252 seats of corporators in Panvel, Bhiwandi and Malegaon municipal corporations will be held on May 24.(HT File)

The Maharashtra state election commission (SEC) issued an ultimatum to government employees who were appointed as temporary returning officers (ROs) and assistant returning officers (AROs), for failing to carry out their election duties. The commission said the officers will be suspended if they do not report to their respective commissionerates by Thursday evening.

Elections for 252 seats of corporators in Panvel, Bhiwandi and Malegaon municipal corporations will be held on May 24. The newly-formed Panvel City Municipal Corporation (PCMC) is going to face elections for the first time. It has 4.25 lakh voters, while Bhiwandi and Malegaon corporations have 4.79 and 3.91 lakh voters respectively. The process of the filing of nominations for these elections will begin on April 29.

The SEC was apprised that about 10% of the RO and AROs have not joined their election duty, citing excuses like illness and summer vacations. It is mandatory for officers who have been named by the divisional commissioners of respective areas to report to election duty. The laws under which the elections are conducted have strict provisions of suspension and conducting of departmental inquiries against the errant government employees.

“Around 10 per cent of the officers have failed to report to their duties. The election work gets badly affected due to such employees. We have full powers to take strict action against them. I hope they will report to their respective authorities by today evening,” state election commissioner JS Saharia told HT.

“Government employees are usually unhappy about being assigned election duties due to the long working hours, stressful responsibility and political pressure. Hence, several of them apply for exemptions from such duties,” said an official from the SEC.

First Published: Apr 27, 2017 11:46 IST