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ECI appoints 7 WB IAS officers for J'khand polls, still no clearance by state

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Kolkata, Nov 06: Seven Bengal IAS officers have been appointed by the Election Commission of India (ECI) on its own as observers for the five-phased Jharkhand elections which will begin from November 25, 2019.

Representational image

Earlier, the ECI had asked West Bengal government to send the officers for training in Delhi on October 31 and also planned to engage a total thirty-four IAS officers as observers. However, the state had sent a list of only ten IAS officers.

According to reports, ECI has appointed two of the ten officers and the remaining eight proposed by the state were kept in reserve.

Informing the officials individually this time the poll panel has appointed seven officers unilaterally and asked them to report in Jharkhand as observers.

Some Bengal officers considered this action by ECI is breaking the norms. Generally, in standard practice, the officers are appointed as observers after ECI seeks names from the state and once it sends the list.

But, here the ECI did not appoint eight officers proposed by the state rather selected seven others without consulting the state.

Although it is in the dark whether the state would lodge an official protest against this step by ECI. It is also unclear that the officers appointed directly by the panel are in a fix.

Apparently, the ECI also has sent in email to the IAS officers directly asking them to report in Jharkhand. But a clearance by the Mamata Government will be required for them to leave.

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A sword of Damocles is remains hanging over the heads of these officers because if they don't report in Jharkhand, the poll panel could propose departmental proceedings against them.

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