While asserting that Principal Secretary (Panchayat Raj) Gopal Krishna Dwivedi and Commissioner M. Girija Shankar have failed in discharging their duties related to gram panchayat elections, State Election Commissioner (SEC) N. Ramesh Kumar has said he did no great harm by censuring them and that he may rethink about it on being satisfied with their functioning hereafter.
Addressing mediapersons here on January 27, Mr. Kumar said he had reached the conclusion that the two senior IAS officers were responsible for the adoption of old (2019) electoral rolls which jeopardised the right of nearly 3.60 lakh youth who attained 18 years as on January 1, 2021, to vote, and there was nothing personal about it.
“Having come from the same All India Services to which the two officers belong, why will I act in a vindictive manner against them,” he wondered, while acknowledging that he was receiving the desired cooperation from them since the controversy had been set at rest by the Supreme Court.
In a letter to Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das, Mr. Kumar stated that Mr. Dwivedi and Mr. Shankar “displayed total lack of sensitivity to the tenets of empowerment of grassroot democracy and institutions as laid down by the 73rd Amendment of the Constitution”, citing their alleged failure in updating the electoral rolls, which forced the commission to adopt the voter lists that dated back to the year 2019.
He mentioned that the “censure will form part of their service records” as they did not properly discharge the responsibilities cast on their office and that the lapse was not an ordinary one that deserved condonation
CS objects to censure
Meanwhile, Mr. Das has reportedly written a letter to the SEC raising an objection to the censure of Mr. Dwivedi and Mr. Shankar on the ground that certain procedures were not followed.
When contacted, Mr. Ramesh Kumar replied that he was yet to go through the communication.