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Vidyashankar plans to quit as Chief Electoral Officer

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M.N. Vidyashankar
M.N. Vidyashankar

S. Rajendran

Decision to continue him in EC is said to be the reason for it

Ramaseshan quit IAS to join the private sector

Officers quitting due to ‘harassment and frustration’

Bangalore: M.N. Vidyashankar who took charge as Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) in April has plans to follow his predecessor — R. Ramaseshan — who quit the Indian Administrative Service and joined the private sector.

Mr. Ramaseshan is now chairman of the National Commodities Exchange. Sanjay Kaul of the 1979 batch of the IAS who also took voluntary retirement a few months ago is also serving in the same group.

Two other senior IAS officers — K. Jairaj and L.V. Nagarajan who had also put in their papers around the same time withdrew changed their mind and are back in the Government as principal secretaries.

Prior to this, Gauri Trivedi and Vivek Kulkarni had quit the IAS. There are nearly 250 IAS officers in the Karnataka cadre, and in recent years more and more of them are seeking voluntary retirement for various reasons, including frustration and harassment.

What has prompted Mr. Vidyashankar to take this step is apparently the decision to continue him in the Election Commission.

Mr. Vidyashankar was earlier reportedly given to understand that he would hold concurrent charge as Secretary, Information Technology and Biotechnology. However, soon after he took charge as CEO he was relieved from the position that he held in the State Government.

Now with the experience that he has gained in successfully conducting two rounds of elections, it is obvious that he is the most preferred person to supervise the conduct of the Lok Sabha elections in the State as well.

A senior IAS officer said that officers were opting for voluntary retirement largely due to harassment and frustration.

“There is no one to listen to our frustration. With plenty of opportunities available outside the All-India Service, officials who have completed 25 years of service in the IAS are seeking VRS rather than yield to the demands of their political bosses or plead for assignments of their choice. Casteism is another important factor that has come into play in the postings of senior officers over the past two decades.”

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