Agartala, Feb 19: The Election Commission of India (ECI) today transferred the Bishalgarh Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) to the District Magistrate's (DM) office for his inefficiency in making arrangements for distribution of postal ballots for polling staff on February 17.
State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Dr G S G Ayyangar here said SDM R K Noatia, in West Tripura, was replaced with IAS officer Rakesh Yadav, who was the director of the Urban Development department and Managing Director of the Tripura Road Transport Corporation.
The ECI asked the state poll panel not to engage Mr Noatia in any election-related duties even though he was the Returning Officer of two Assembly constituencies in the sub-divisions. Meanwhile, an investigation had been launched against him.
Allegedly, Mr Noatia, a senior Tripura Civil Service (TCS) officer, had failed to manage the polling personnel when they went to cast their votes through postal ballot and due to mismanagement, a good number of polling officials could not exercise their franchise, which triggered serious resentment among the staff.
The CEO held an emergency meeting with all the ROs yesterday to ensure proper arrangements for distribution of postal ballots and the entire polling process.
''Votes through postal ballots will be distributed to the concerned persons or dispatched by registered post by February 20,'' he added.
Earlier, the ECI had transferred five TCS officers for their negligence in election-related duties and they were chargesheeted subsequently, Dr Ayyangar said, adding that the Commission had taken action against five government officials for violation of election code.