TT Epaper
The Telegraph
Graphiti
 
CIMA Gallary

Bengal observer from Bihar

The Election Commission of India has decided to send former Bihar chief electoral officer Sudhir Kumar Rakesh as the special state observer to Bengal.

The commission’s move followed a raft of complaints against poll officials and the chief electoral officer of Bengal. Assistant Bengal chief electoral officer Amit Roychowdhury said Rakesh, already on his way to the city from Bihar, is expected to assume charge on Thursday.

The 1983-batch IAS officer — currently the director-general of the Bihar Institute of Public Administration and Rural Development (Bipard) — would enjoy powers nearly equal to that of Bengal chief electoral officer Sunil Kumar Gupta.

“Rakesh is an efficient officer who had spearheaded the implementation of the Bihar Model of electioneering in the Bihar Assembly polls of 2010. He is the ideal man for handling difficult elections and is our choice for the Bengal challenge this time,” said a senior commission official from Delhi this evening.

According to him, Bengal is the only state so far in the Lok Sabha polls this year to get a special state observer.

Sources said the commission has “little” faith in the impartiality of poll officials and the office of the chief electoral officer.

“There are signs of a breakdown in co-ordination between offices of the chief secretary, the home secretary, the chief electoral officer and the districts administration. The commission needs a powerful nodal officer,” said a source.

The source said that the commission is “displeased” with the way the attacks on election officials in North 24-Parganas, Howrah and Malda took place and were dealt with.

“The commission has also viewed chief secretary Sanjay Mitra’s order for reinstatement of the officials removed from election duty after the poll process as a direct confrontation. Given the situation, the commission wanted to ensure greater command by sending Rakesh,” he said.

Rakesh had served as principal secretary of Governor Secretariat before being shifted to Bipard, a government-run organisation to impart training to employees.


 More stories in Bihar

  • On D-Day, booth-hopping on radar of star candidates in fray
  • Strongmen in action, tension brews
  • Economic prosperity throws up challenge in hustings
  • Electoral pride against political prejudice
  • Laugh riot to take on poll rivals
  • Bengal observer from Bihar
  • Rudy assets jump twice in five years
  • Bihar phase II: At a glance
  • Word on the street: plays to attract voters
  • Adult big cat dead in reserve
  • On poll eve, politics scores over IPL buzz
  • Extra cover for safety on streets
  • Test for Modi wind in caste bowl
  • Nitish sniffs foul play in pullout
  • Good morning to vote, hot afternoon in store
  • Political campaigns give village a miss