Maharashtra: Election Commission Appoints S Chockalingam As Chief Electoral Officer

Maharashtra: Election Commission Appoints S Chockalingam As Chief Electoral Officer

The senior IAS officer appointment ahead of the general election will head the state election panel and supervise all poll related work for the assembly and parliament elections slated in April May this year.

Dharmesh ThakkarUpdated: Thursday, February 29, 2024, 12:42 AM IST
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Election Commission of India | File pic

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday named 1996-batch IAS officer S Chockalingam as the new chief electoral officer (CEO) of Maharashtra replacing incumbent CEO Shrikant M Deshpande. The ECI notification designated the veteran bureaucrat to head the state election office. 

The senior IAS officer appointment ahead of the general election will head the state election panel and supervise all poll related work for the assembly and parliament elections slated in April, May this year. 

Chockalingam shortlisted from 3 names

The senior bureaucrat was short listed from the three names given by the state government to the poll panel for appointment as the state chief electoral officer to oversee the election process. He will take over from the incumbent 1991 batch IAS S M Deshpande to helm the polls with emphasis on election integrity, the adoption of advanced monitoring techniques and the strategic positioning of polling stations to streamline the electoral process.

The seasoned bureaucrat will play as pivotal in coordinating with the Election Commission of India (ECI) to implement electoral policies, oversee the preparation and maintenance of electoral rolls, and ensure the enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct. Chokalingam's extensive administrative experience within the Maharashtra cadre is expected to be advantageous in handling the complexities of the electoral process in the state. 

Chokalingam expected to bring in many changes

Chokalingam is expected to implement several of ECI recommendations for fair and transparent polling with the expansion of videography and webcasting at polling stations, the implementation of a two-step voter identification process, and the establishment of polling stations in urban housing societies to facilitate easier access for voters.

He will also push for quicker approvals by the media control and monitoring committees (MCMCs) to reduce delays in the dissemination of election-related information. These initiatives are part of a broader effort to ensure that the upcoming Lok Sabha elections are conducted fairly and efficiently, with minimal room for electoral malpractices. 

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