EC stays transfers of seven IAS officers, asks Siddu govt to take prior approval

Political News, State, (Bengaluru), January 25:-Election Commission has asked the Karnataka government to withhold the transfers of seven Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers, including three district chiefs, as the Election Commission wasn’t consulted in this matter, an official said.

“Currently, the special summary revision of electoral rolls is taking place ahead of the state polls, and during this time a transfer of any district officer must be made only after consulting the Election Commission,” the state’s chief electoral officer Sanjiv Kumar said.

“The state government has been asked to withhold the transfers and wait for Election Commission’s approval,” he added.

The state government had on Monday issued transfer orders for seven Indian Administrative Service officers: MV Jayanthi, V Chaitra, SB Shettannavar, MV Venkatesh, Rohini Sindhuri Dasari, K Rajendra and BR Mamatha.

Out of these, three were serving as deputy commissioners in different districts: Dasari in Hassan district, Venkatesh in Haveri and Mamatha in Ramanagara.

During the period of the electoral roll revision in the state, all the district officers are directly under the control of the state poll panel, said the chief electoral officer.

“Electoral rolls revision is a very sensitive issue. The district officers during the process are on deputation under the Election Commission, so there is no place for malpractices like intimidating the officers,” he reiterated.

The elections in the southern state are due in May, with the poll panel yet to announce the dates.

The transfer of Dasari had drawn several political reactions.

HD Deve Gowda, the Lok Sabha lawmaker from Hassan, a strong belt of the dominant Vokkaliga community to which the ex-prime minister belongs, had criticised the government’s move.

“I’ve never seen a government like this one anywhere that transfers honest officers,” he had said.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state unit president BS Yeddyurappa had said: “…the transfer of Dasari is unceremonious. Is there no place for honest and upright officers in this government?”

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had however defended the transfers saying it was a “routine administrative matter”. “The state can make the transfers as the poll dates or the code of conduct has not been given out yet by the poll panel,” he contended.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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