Aizawl, the capital of poll-bound Mizoram, came to a grinding halt on Tuesday during a protest by the “NGO Coordination Committee” against the state’s chief electoral officer, SB Shashank.
Earlier, the NGO Coordination Committee, which is a conglomerate of some influential civil society organisations, had asked Shashank to leave the state by November 5. As Shashank has not done that, the NGOs have now threatened not to allow the holding of November 28 Assembly elections.
“We will continue with our protests as long as he does not leave Mizoram. If he doesn’t do that, then there is a possibly that the elections will not be held at all,” warned Young Mizo Association president Vanlalruata.
He alleged that the CEO was acting as per his whims and fancies. He is not consulting the state government and he is doing it all by himself, Vanlalruata alleged.
The NGO Coordination Committee is enraged with Shashank for his complaint to the Election Commission of India (ECI) against the state’s principal secretary (home) Lalnunmawia Chuaungo, who is a Mizo IAS officer of Gujarat-cadre. It was based on the CEO’s complaint that the ECI relieved Chuaungo of all responsibilities and transferred him to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
In his complaint to the ECI, Shashank had accused Chuaungo of meddling in electoral rolls revision of the displaced Brus (Reangs), some 32,000 of whom are lodged in relief camps in neighbouring Tripura. He also alleged that Chuaungo was interfering in the “process of security management of conduct of election”.
Meanwhile, in the wake of the protests, the state government has heightened Shashank’s security.
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