The Election Commission has roped in 20 IAS officers from Bihar to work as observers in the upcoming Assembly elections in five states — Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana.
The bureaucrats who have been called include junior ones serving as settlement officers to special secretary, director, joint secretary, secretary, and principal secretary rank officers.
Sources in the government said the poll panel had written to Bihar’s chief electoral officer (CEO) H.R. Srinivasa on September 26, asking him to ensure that the 20 earmarked IAS officers are relieved in time to attend a meeting and necessary briefing at the Constitution Club of India in Delhi on October 6.
The EC has also written in the letter that the absence of the officers who have been called will be taken “very seriously” and disciplinary action could be initiated against them. “The general administration department has issued a notification, asking the concerned IAS officers to follow the ECI directions. Some of them have functioned as election observers on previous occasions as well,” a senior officer shared with this newspaper.
Officers from various services are deployed as general, police and expenditure observers for the poll-bound constituencies. They stay there during the campaigning and elections, monitoring the things that come into their purview, and submitting their reports to the EC.
Four police personnel, including a woman sub-inspector, were arrested from the Beur area of Patna for allegedly extorting money from people during night patrolling, officials said on Thursday, reports PTI. Besides the sub-inspector, there was a constable, a home guard and a police driver among those arrested.