Election observer removed in Mizoram over misconduct allegations

Aizawl: In a recent development, Gaurav Awasthi, IRS, an election observer appointed as the expenditure observer for Lunglei South, West Tuipui, and Thorang constituencies in Mizoram, has been removed from his position due to alleged misconduct. Awasthi was looking over 3 Assembly Constituencies, 33-Lunglei South(ST)A/C, 34-Thorang(ST) A/C and 35- West Tuipui (ST) A/C under Lunglei District.

Awasthi is accused of utilizing government funds, approximately Rs. 20,000, for personal expenses. Furthermore, he faces allegations of inappropriate behavior towards election agents, including the use of foul language and being unforgiving towards minor errors. The complaints against Awasthi extend to accusations of misbehaving with candidate agents and their team.

According to local news outlet Zonet JB, individuals who interacted with Awasthi claimed that he not only misused funds but also threatened them over minor issues, creating a hostile work environment. Political party agents from the three constituencies affected by Awasthi’s alleged actions lodged a formal complaint with the district election officer, leading to his removal by the Election Commission of India.

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In response to the allegations, Awasthi has reportedly expressed willingness to return the funds he used and has asked for forgiveness from the officials involved.

On Friday, the Election Commission removed three poll observers from their responsibilities due to “misconduct” and a breach of the code of ethics. The decision targeted two general observers assigned to Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, along with an expenditure observer in Mizoram.

Also Read | Mizoram: Alleged poll-related threats by Hmar Peoples Convention (Democratic) raise concerns

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