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SB Shashank On Way Out as Mizoram Election Officer, EC Asks Chief Secy to Suggest Replacement

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SB Shashank may be on his way out as Chief Electoral Officer of Mizoram with the Election Commission asking the state’s Chief Secretary to suggest a replacement, sources told News18 on Saturday.

The Chief Secretary was reportedly asked to give three options to replace Shashank after a meeting between a high-level EC team, top government officials and civil society leaders over the crisis that has rocked the poll-bound state.

Sources added that Shashank will continue to be in the post until the Chief Secretary responds with suggested names.
A team, led by Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain, visited the state two days after Shashank was summoned to Delhi by the poll panel following a massive protest by NGO Coordination Committee, a conglomerate of civil societies and student organisations, demanding his ouster.

Shashank, who was being seen by the civil society as a Bru sympathiser, had allegedly sought deployment of additional central armed police forces (CAPF) in the state and complained to the Election Commission that the state’s former principal secretary LalnunmawiaChuaungo was “interfering” with the poll process. Chuaungo, a native of Mizoram and a Gujarat-cadre IAS officer, was relieved of his duties earlier this month.

The NGO Coordination Committee has also demanded that 11,232 Bru voters lodged in six Tripura relief camps be allowed to exercise their franchise at their respective polling stations in Mizoram and not in Tripura as committed by the poll panel in 2014. Thousands of Bru community members had fled Mizoram in October 1997 after ethnic clashes and have been living in camps in Tripura since then.

Sources told News18 that the Election Commission has accepted this demand as well.

Election to the 40-member Mizoram Assembly will be held on November 28.

Monday is the last day for filing poll nominations. The counting of votes will be held on December 11.

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