Aizawl: Simmering tension has prevailed in a poll-bound Mizoram after major civil society organizations intensified demand for eviction of Chief Electoral Officer SB Shashank by threatening mass protest.
NGO Co-ordination Committee, an umbrella body of major civil society and student organizations on Friday demanded Shashank’s removal from the state CEO shortly after the Election Commissioned removed state principal secretaryLalnunmawia Chuaungo, who heads home and finance, from his office on the ground of direct interference with the poll process due to the complaint raised by the CEO.
The NGO coordination committee requested Shashank to discontinue his job as the CEO and served him an ultimatum to leave Mizoram before dusk on Monday (November 5) on the ground that the latter has failed to carry out his duty in a direction towards having free and fair election.
Central YMA general secretary Lalhmachhuana said the organization has called mass voluntary service upon Mizo youths to picket the CEO office and block him from attending office from Tuesday if he fails to leave Mizoram before 5 pm on Monday.
The decision was taken at the meeting between leaders of Central YMA and various branches of YMA in the state capital on Saturday night, he said.
He said that the organization would hold protest till the CEO leaves Mizoram.
He alleged that Chuaungo was removed by the poll panel due to the allegation leveled by Shashank that the former had direct interference in the revision of electoral rolls of Bru voters and security arrangements for the assembly polls.
Lalhmachhuana, however, said that they did not demand the authority to re-instate Chuaungo.
In his letter to EC dated October 29, Shashank leveled serious charge against Chuaungo for his alleged interference in poll process and sought his removal.
He also alleged that the Mizoram did not seem keen to have any new Bru voters enrolled.
Following this, the Election Commission on Friday asked the state government to remove Chuaungo from state principal secretary citing that his continuation as the principal secretary could have an adverse effect on the conduct of smooth, free and fair election process in the state. Chuaungo was later transferred.
The EC also appointed health commissioner Lalrinliana Fanai to take the place of Chuaungo.
Some political parties and NGOs have backed that Chuaungo, who is a Mizo man, was acted like other Mizos in disallowing identification slips of Bru voters to be used for any purpose other than for repatriation.
Election to the 40-member Assembly will be held on November 28. The results will declared on December 11.
Meanwhile, the state government has tightened security in the state capital following the demand for exit of the CEO.
Additional security personnel has been deployed at the CEO office and his official residence since Thursday night, a senior police officer said, adding that security was also tightened in various places of Aizawl following the Committee’s demands.