Election Commission of India takes action against nearly 1,000 govt. employees in Andhra Pradesh for violating model code of conduct

556 volunteers terminated from service for engaging in government services; disciplinary action taken against 96 regular employees

April 02, 2024 06:48 pm | Updated April 03, 2024 09:12 am IST - GUNTUR

Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Kumar Meena

Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Kumar Meena

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has taken action against nearly one thousand State government employees and contract staff after they were found to have taken part in political campaigning, which is in violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

While the errant volunteers, contractual and outsourced employees have been terminated from service, show-cause notices have been served on regular employees, according to Mukesh Kumar Meena, Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer (CEO).

“The ECI has terminated 556 volunteers from government service. They were appointed by the State government to ensure the delivery of various services to the public at their doorstep, and were attached to village and ward secretariats,” Mr. Meena told The Hindu.

It is worth mentioning here that the ECI had already barred volunteers from engaging in any government service during the enforcement of the MCC. The ECI took the decision after several complaints were received against the volunteer system across the State.

The complainants, including opposition political parties like the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Jana Sena Party (JSP), alleged that the volunteers are all workers of the ruling party, and have been working in favour of the YSRCP ahead of the elections to influence beneficiaries. The 556 volunteers were removed from service by the ECI after verifying the complaints against them, it is learnt.

In addition to that, the ECI dismissed 61 other persons who were engaged in government services such as running fair price shops, and were found to have violated the MCC by participating in political rallies and campaigns.

Also Read: Lok Sabha elections 2024 in pictures | Model Code of Conduct in practice

A total of 140 contractual and outsourced employees were terminated from service since the MCC came into force, Mr. Meena informed, adding that disciplinary action was taken against 96 regular employees of the State government. The action ranges from suspension from service to issuance of show-cause notices.

Mr. Meena said that the ECI has been closely monitoring government employees, and suggested that they avoid participating in any political campaigns.

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