PUNJAB CHIEF Electoral Officer (CEO) V K Singh has written to all principal and administrative secretaries, reminding them to respond on time to all missives regarding the conduct of Assembly elections in the state. In his letter, Singh has pointed out that the compliance of the Election Commission’s advisory regarding transfer and deployment of officers is still awaited. All the officials have been asked to issue necessary orders and send a compliance report within two working days.
“Administrative secretaries of all departments are required to respond to all communication from ECI and CEO’s office in a time-bound manner. The CEO’s office has a tight time line for responding to any letter from ECI. Hence, it is important to have a fast and reliable mode of communication and all were requested to respond through a unique email ID,” said the CEO in a statement on Wednesday. Singh has also sought the cooperation of all secretaries for the forthcoming elections by advising all heads of departments to provide manpower and other resources as and when requested by the District Election Officer or the Returning Officer.
The letter also mentions that in case of complaints against government officials, once a complaint is noticed by the senior supervisory officer in print/television/social media, it is expected that instead of waiting for any direction or letter from the EC, the supervisory officer would look into it as soon as possible and send a suo motu report to the CEO’s office. “This approach would reduce the response and inspire confidence of citizens and help in improving the perception of both the Election Commission of India and the Punjab government,” said Singh.
Regarding the misuse of government buildings and properties by parties and candidates for campaigning, the CEO said that can be totally eliminated if officers do not allow any poster on government property (building, street, electric poles, trees, etc.) even before elections are announced. “A special campaign has to be launched by the officers to check that all such campaigning material has been removed once the election is announced. In case government building or structure continues to display campaigning material after elections are announced, all responsibility will lie with the head of that office,” he added.