State asked to put on hold transfers of three DCs

Bengaluru: A day after the transfer of Deputy Commissioners of Hassan, Ramanagaram and Haveri, Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sanjiv Kumar has asked the State Government to withdraw its order on transfer till final publication of electoral rolls on Feb.28.

Kumar dashed off a letter to Chief Secretary Ratna Prabha yesterday saying that “the transfer order issued by the Government on Jan.22, 2018, cannot be given effect to as far as it relates to the transfer and posting of DCs. The said transfer orders can be given effect only after concurrence of the Election Commission of India (ECI).” It was “unfortunate” that the Government was not acting on it despite the rules being brought to its notice, said the letter.

The CEO said as per the EC instructions, all officers involved in the electoral roll revision work — DCs, the roll observers, the electoral registration officers, and the assistant electoral registration officers — are deemed to be on deputation to the ECI till Feb.28.

The transfer of Hassan Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri Dasari, in particular, kicked up a political storm with both the Opposition BJP and the JD(S) calling it vindictive and politically motivated just before the mega event of Mahamastakabhisheka at Shravanabelagola in February. Two other DCs, B.R. Mamatha and M.V. Venkatesh, for Ramanagaram and Haveri respectively, were also transferred on Monday.

Till the issue is communicated to the EC, the CEO asked the Government to put on hold its January 22 order. He also advised DCs not to leave the headquarters and handover the charge.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Siddharamaiah said in Mysuru yesterday that transfer of officials is the Government’s prerogative. “It is an administrative issue and the Government need not give an explanation to others,” he said.

He also said that he had no information about EC staying the transfer, but added that the Commission cannot stay the transfer of officials before the poll code of conduct kicks in.

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