EC Removes 6 State Home Secretaries Including Gujarat’s Pankaj Joshi; All Officials Faced Additional Charges Pre-Election

Before the Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission has ordered the removal of Home Secretaries of 6 states, including Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. Additionally, a suggestion to remove the DGP of West Bengal has also been made. Furthermore, in Mumbai, the commissioners and deputy commissioners were also removed.

Removal of Home Secretaries and More Commissioners by Election Commission

The Election Commission removed the Home Secretaries of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand on Monday. Additionally, the Home Secretary of West Bengal was also removed. All these individuals were handling additional charges in the Chief Minister’s office.

Maharashtra’s Chief Secretary Directed to Replace Officials

The Election Commission directed the submission of a report until evening today and replacement of officials from BMC and additional/deputy commissioners.

Removal of General Secretaries in Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh

The Election Commissioner Jnanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu met on Monday afternoon after the meeting chaired by Rajeev Kumar to make this decision.

Gujarat’s Additional Home Secretary Removed

Pankaj Joshi, Gujarat’s additional home secretary, is an IAS officer from the 1989 batch. Previously, he had served in various departments including revenue, energy, and petrochemicals. Recently, he was appointed as the additional home secretary.

Reasons for Pankaj Joshi’s Removal?

In the seven states where officials were removed, they had additional charges in the Chief Minister’s office in the respective states, ensuring impartiality during the election process, especially in maintaining law and order.

Announcement of Lok Sabha Election Dates on March 16

The Lok Sabha election dates for 16th March were announced previously. Voting for 543 seats will take place in seven phases from 19th April to 1st June. The results will be declared on 4th June, and the entire process will take 46 days. The assembly election dates for four states – Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, and Sikkim – have also been announced.

DGP Rajeev Kumar Removed in Bengal

The Director General of Police (DGP) Rajeev Kumar has been removed in West Bengal. He was earlier removed during the 2016 assembly elections and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections by the Election Commission. This decision comes after dissatisfaction expressed by Maharashtra’s Chief Secretary regarding the functioning of BMC and other officials.

Sit-in Protest by Kumar Supporters

On 3rd February 2019, when the CBI team went to Kumar’s house for questioning, he was detained. He was accused of using central agencies against the state government. At that time, Kumar was the Police Commissioner of Kolkata. After court orders, CBI interrogated him in connection with the Saradha case in Shillong, Meghalaya.

TMC Alleges BJP’s Control Over Central Agencies

TMC leader Kunal Ghosh criticized the decision to remove the DGP, alleging BJP’s attempt to capture various institutions, including election commissions. He accused central agencies of being manipulated by the BJP. Today’s development after the announcement of Lok Sabha elections shows BJP’s desperation. BJP is making every effort to control election commissioners and keep them under its influence.

Appeal Made to Not Transfer Chahal

Just a day ago, the Shiv Sena government appealed to the Election Commission not to transfer Chahal from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner’s post. However, the ECI dismissed this appeal.

Niyati Rao

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