Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The Supreme Court has put a question mark on the appointment of Arun Goel as Election Commissioner of India. The apex court has also said the country needs a Election Commissioner who can even take action against the Prime Minister.
Similarly, the State Election Commissioners are appointed to conduct the local bodies’ polls, but, in Madhya Pradesh, the post of the State Election Commissioner (SEC) has become a home to rehabilitating the retired bureaucrats.
The MP government has, so far, appointed three former chief secretaries and three retired IAS officers as SECs. The appointment of SECs began during the tenure of former chief minister Digvijay Singh, and NB Lohani, who took voluntary retirement from the Indian Administrative Services, was the first bureaucrat to have been appointed as SEC.
After Lohani, retired principal secretary Gopal Sharan Shukla was appointed. When Shukla retired, the government appointed retired chief secretary AV Singh.
In the same way, after Singh, retired additional chief secretary Ajit Raizada took over as SEC. After him, the retired chief secretary R Parshuram took over as SEC. after Parshuram retired CS BP Singh took over as SEC.
Two chief secretaries were appointed as SECs even before their retirement. Social worker Ajay Dubey says, “How an officer who, just before retirement, takes decisions on behalf of the government, can work impartially?”
There is barely any strictness in local bodies’ polls
There is hardly any strictness in the local bodies’ elections, since the retired IAS officers are appointed as State Election Commissioners. As a result, although model code of conduct is violated many times during the civic polls, FIRs are not registered. Political observers say as the government officials are appointed as SECs, they can barely afford to be strict with the ruling dispensation.