IAS Officer Ashish Kundra Replaces SB Shashank As Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer

| November 15 , 2018 , 14:06 IST

The Election Commission on Thursday appointed IAS officer Ashish Kundra as poll-bound Mizoram's new chief electoral officer, replacing S B Shashank after widespread protests in the state.

A notification issued by the EC said, "The Election Commission of India in consultation with the Government of Mizoram hereby nominates Ashish Kundra as the chief electoral officer for the state of Mizoram with immediate effect."

The order came after some civil society groups in Mizoram demanded Shashank's ouster over a row on allowing Bru voters lodged in Tripura relief camps to exercise their franchise from there.

Shashank had been alleged of hurting the sentiments of Mizo people by his 'pro-Bru' stance for elections.

According to the media reports, Shashank sought deployment of additional central armed police forces (CAPFs) in the north-eastern state and complained to the EC that the state's former principal secretary, Lalnunmawia Chuaungo, was interfering in the poll process. Chuaungo, a native of Mizoram and a Gujarat-cadre IAS officer, was relieved of his duties earlier this month.

Thousands of people took to the streets and picketed in front of Shashank's office for two days since November 13.

The protesters, under the aegis of the NGO Coordination Committee, also gave an ultimatum for Shashank to leave urgently, prompting the EC to send the first team to the state.

Shashank left Mizoram on November 14 after being summoned by the chief election commissioner in Delhi, which resulted in the withdrawal of the agitation.

Mizoram goes to polls on November 28.

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