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EC in talks with MNCC to resolve standoff  3 Days ago

Source:   Times Of India  

NEW DELHI: Mizoram chief electoral officer S B Shashank is camping in Delhi even as a high-level Election Commission team holds discussions with Mizoram NGO Coordination Committee (MNCC) to resolve the crisis arising out of their alleged standoff with the CEO over transfer of principal secretary (home) Lalnunmawia Chuaungo.

Meanwhile, more than 200 nominations have been filed in the poll-bound state, surpassing the figure of total 142 nominations filed during the 2013 assembly poll. Every constituency has a minimum of four nominations.

Friday was the last day for filing of nominations in Mizoram, which goes to polls on November 28. On Thursday, EC rejected a demand by BJP’s Mizoram unit seeking extension of last date of nominations, citing the peacful situation there.

MNCC has been demanding removal of Shashank, a call echoed by chief minister Lal Thanhawla in a recent letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The CM had suggested that “the people (of Mizoram) had lost faith in him”.

Sources in the Election Commission said its team led by deputy election commissioner Sudeep Jain was in Aizawl on Friday to talk to civil society groups regarding their grievances and work out specific points of understanding so that no vested interests do not attempt to interfere with the polls by spreading rumours, especially on social media.

The team will brief the Commission once it is back in Delhi. Even Shashank may place his version before EC before it takes a final call on his fate. Indications so far are that Shashank may have only acted as per rules, even as alleged networking of the tranferred principal secretary, a Mizo but IAS officer from Gujarat cadre, with local civil society groups led to the protests.

MNCC is demanding that 11,232 voters among the tribal refugees lodged in seven Tripura relief camps be allowed to exercise their franchise at their respective polling stations in Mizoram and not in Tripura.

The CEO had reported to EC that Chuaungo was creating obstacles in allowing the Reang tribals to vote. Another factor cited against him was “theft” of electoral rolls revisions forms.

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