Lok Sabha Elections 2024: EC orders removal of home secretaries in 6 states. Click to learn more

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In a significant move aimed at ensuring free and fair elections, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has ordered the removal of home secretaries in six states, including the director general of police (DGP) of West Bengal. 

Additionally, officials from the general administrative department in Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh have also been relieved of their duties.

The states affected by the removal orders include Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. The decision to remove the West Bengal DGP stems from prior instances of being removed from active election management duties during past elections.

Furthermore, the Commission has directed all state governments to transfer officers involved in election-related activities who have served three years or are stationed in their home districts. 

The list also includes top bureaucrats; BrihanMumbai Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal; Additional Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners. However, Maharashtra has been found to be non-compliant with the directive regarding municipal commissioners and additional/deputy municipal commissioners. 

The Chief Election Commissioner, Rajiv Kumar, reiterated the Commission’s commitment to maintaining a level playing field and safeguarding the integrity of the electoral process. This decision was made during a commission meeting chaired by Rajiv Kumar, with the presence of recently-appointed Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu.

The removal of officials holding dual charges, particularly in offices of chief ministers, is aimed at preventing potential compromises in impartiality and neutrality, especially concerning law and order and deployment of forces during elections.

The Lok Sabha elections are scheduled to be conducted in seven phases from April 19 to June 1, with vote counting set for June 4. With the current government’s term ending on June 16, these actions underscore the Commission’s commitment to conducting elections with transparency and integrity.

Key Points

• Election Commission of India issues orders for removal of home secretaries in six states

• Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner also among list

• Removal orders to ensure free, fair and transparent elections

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