Aizawl: Three election observers, including expenditure observer for south Mizoram’s Lunglei district, were removed and replaced by the Election Commission of India for ‘misconduct’ during the state assembly elections held in 5 states.
Expenditure observer appointed by the central poll panel for Lunglei district Gaurav Awasthi, Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer was among the three observers in other states removed by the ECI due to misconduct and violation of ethics during the election process.
State election official, who does not want to be named, told Zoram Chronicle that Awasthi could not cooperate and coordinate with the expenditure team and treated all the election officials, especially expenditure officials with contempt since the first inspection of expenditures.
“Awasthi had also been treating election agents of the contesting candidates as his subordinates and treated them without any sense of respects and appealed to the district election officer (DEO) of Lunglei district to shift him somewhere other than Lunglei district in a joint representation,” the official said. The expenditure observer was treating officials and non-officials win an air of superiority, he said.
He was also accused of mistreating his liaison officer (LO) and ordered the latter to wash his under garments while he allegedly forced some officials of the expenditure team to purchase items for his personal properties.
After the joint representation, submitted to Lunglei DEO was forwarded to the state election department, the matter was taken up with the ECI which decided to replace him along with other 2 general observers being sent to other states which included a Mizo IAS officer sent as general observer to Chhattisgarh’s Dantewara assembly seat.
The central poll panel asked the respective state government to reflect “recordable caution” in their respective service books.