The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Commission stick for cop before by-election

Aug. 27: The state government today replaced East Singhbhum superintendent of police Pankaj Darad with Navin Kumar Singh, on orders of the Election Commission.

The EC today directed chief minister Madhu Koda to pay the cost of his travel by state helicopter and car in violation of model code of conduct in Jamshedpur, where a Lok Sabha bypoll is scheduled on August 29. It asked the chief minister to deposit the money in the treasury, EC sources in New Delhi said.

The commission also ordered transfer of Darad for allegedly violating the model code in the constituency and asked the government to send a panel of names for posting in his place.

Taking serious note of combining official visit with poll-related work in Jamshedpur, the EC had earlier issued a show cause to Koda seeking his explanation.

The chief minister had used the official car and the helicopter for visiting East Singhbhum and took part in the filing of nomination papers of JMM candidate Suman Mahto on August 9, the EC said in its notice.

Bypoll to Jamshedpur Lok Sabha seat has been necessitated following the killing of JMM MP Sunil Kumar Mahto.

Singh was posted as commandant of Jharkhand Armed Police III at Govindpur. Darad was shifted to Criminal Investigation Department, said a state spokesperson.

Incidentally, Darad, a J&K cadre IPS officer, was on deputation in Jharkhand. He was waiting to be relieved after the by-election.

Meanwhile, campaigning for the bypoll came to an end this evening. Though there are 12 candidates in the fray, it is likely to be a triangular contest among JMM’s Suman Mahto, BJP MLA Dinesh Sarangi and former BJP MP from Mayurbhanj Salkhan Murmu, who is trying his luck on a Bahujan Samaj Party ticket. JVM, on the other hand, has fielded industrialist Bikash Mukherjee.

There seems to be hardly any enthusiasm among the people of Jamshedpur, as well as the political parties (though they do not admit), about the by-election since whoever wins, will represent the constituency for hardly one-and-a-half years.

As a result, no any clear picture has emerged so far about the outcome of the elections, though all the four parties are claiming a “wave” in their favour.

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