ECI directs J’khand govt to remove Deoghar DC immediately

Ranchi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) is learnt to have directed Jharkhand government to remove Deoghar deputy commissioner cum district election officer (DEO) Manjunath Bhajantri from his post over filing FIRs on Godda MP Nishikant Dubey for poll code violations about six months after conduct of the elections. In October, Deoghar district officials slapped about half a dozen FIRs against Dubey in different police stations charging him of violation of code of conduct and attempting to incite tensions during Madhepur bypolls earlier this year. Dubey had challenged the FIRs and approached ECI accusing Deoghar DC of acting against him out of vendetta. Dubey also claimed that he was acting on behest of state government and was working as ‘agent’ of the ruling party.

Following Dubey’s plea, ECI sought explanation from Bhajantri over the issue. ECI in its letter to state government stated that it has found no satisfactory reply from the official concerned. It noted, “Accordingly, ECI hereby directs state government under section 20A of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951 and other orders in the past to initiate disciplinary proceedings for major penalty against Shri Manjunath Bhajantri, by issuing charge memo to him within 15 days from the receipt of this order. The commission also directs that he (Manjunath) be removed from the post of DC-cum-DEO, Deoghar immediately and should not be posted as DC/DEO or on any other election duty without prior permission of the Commission.”

Dubey has also shared a portion of the letter through his official twitter handle.