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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2957

TN poll 2016: Election commission transfers IAS, IPS officers for allegedly supporting the ruling party!

By Dr. Abdul Ruff

enerally the government departments and various state agencies support and promote the interests of the ruling party in a poll as part of their duty as failure to oblige the government ruling party would land them in trouble.

That is how democracy functions in the world. The ruling party enjoys the courting of the state apparatus in the polls while the opposition opposes that immoral practice. But when the opposition comes to power its also asks or expects the government officials to support the ruling party in the poll. The election commission has a duty to deny that privilege to the ruling dispensation in order to ensure fair poll.

As Tamil Nadu is getting ready to get a new government through a direct poll in May when the incumbent AIADMK government completes its 5 year term. Apart from corruption, liquor ban, illiteracy, urban-rural unemployment, an important issue concerning proper conduct of poll amid ruling government interference has also dominated the media headlines in the state and India at large.

The opposition parties are concerned about too much of unfair means of propaganda and campaign by the AIADMK, including money and small gifts for votes and free transport of black and other cash for distribution among the voters, etc.

As TN election commission is being blamed for promoting, as usual, the ruling AIADMK in the ensuing assembly poll in a big way, the opposition parties like DMK, PMK and PWA have complained to the Election Commission of India, New Delhi to take stern action against some collectors and SPs and other IPS officers.

The EC has no other way than taking prompt action by transferring the ‘guilty’ officers for the sake of conducting fair poll. As many as four district Collectors and five Superintendents of Police were transferred last week in poll-bound Tamil Nadu on the directions of the Election Commission of India.

The TN State Election Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni Election Commission said he has ordered the transfer of IAS, IPS officers including District Collectors and Superintendent of Police following complaints against their functioning.

Accordingly, five IPS officers were also transferred to various other posts. D.Karthikeyan is posted as Senior Collector in Salem who is Commissioner of Archaeology. Satyabrata Sahoo is posted as senior Collector in Dindigul is the Transport Commissioner. Poomphuhar Shipping Corporation MD Rajendra Rathoo would replace R.Nanthagopal as Vellore Collector. Collectors of Vellore and Salem, P. Nanthagopal and V. Sampath respectively were transferred by the state government, a government release said, adding, they have been replaced by Rajendra Ratnoo and D Karthikeyan. Similarly, Satyabrata Sahoo, Transport Commissioner, was appointed Dindigul Collector in place of T. N. Hariharan while Theni Collector, N Venkatachalam was replaced by S Nagarajan, Director and CEO, Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency, an EC release said.

The Election Commission last week had ordered transfer of MD of Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (TACTV), J. Kumaragurubaran, following complaints from opposition DMK and others. Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency Director S.Nagaraian will hold charge as Theni Collector in place of N. Venkatachalam. The five IPS officers who have been moved are G. Subbalakshmi – Salem S. Rejshwari – Pudukottai J. Loganatham- Dharmapuri S. Maheswaran-Namakkal E.S. Uma – Tiruchi. They would be succeeded by CB-CID-III SP Amit Kumar Singh; Palayamkottai Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Santosh Hadimani, Madurai City DCP Bandi Gangadhar, Salem DCP V Sasi Mohan, and Coimbatore DCP Nisha Parthipan. Deputy Superintendents of Police N. Suriyamoorthy (Thiruchengode), S. Thanapal (Aruppukkottai), K. Sundaram (Vaniyambadi), and P. Raja (Oddanchattram), and Assistant Commissioner of Police (Avadi) B Nandakumar have also been transferred. The ECI has transferred the Tirupur DRO, Pudukottai RDO and police inspectors of Nungambakkam and Puzhal in Chennai city.

Earlier, the AIADMK government transferred some IAS and IPS officers as the usual action. The opposition complained against the transfers saying the government has done it to suit the state election in May.

The transfer action keeps happening the state almost every week now.

The transfers are at times necessary to ensure safety of candidates, peaceful and fair conduct of the poll so that people can vote fearlessly.

- Asian Tribune -

TN State Election Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni
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