Aizawl: Amid the demands for his removal, Mizoram chief electoral officer SB Shashank on Monday reportedly said that he never had “an intention of hurting the sentiment of the local Mizos or the civil society”.
Talking to reporters, Shashank was quoted as saying by UNI: “As the state CEO, it is my respAsonsibility that we fulfill the mandate of the Election Commission… I appeal to the civil society here to listen to their inner voice and see what an officer is supposed to do.”
On Friday, the Mizoram’s NGO Coordination Committee — an influential civil society body — had set Monday evening as the deadline to Shashank for ‘leaving his assignment’ and ‘quitting’ the state.
The crisis in Mizoram developed last week shortly after CEO SB Shashank’s complained of “direct interference” by the Mizoram government and its principal secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo in the election process. Upon receiving the complaint, the Election Commission ordered the removal of Chuaungo, a 1987-batch Gujarat-cadre IAS officer. The EC also directed that Chuaungo should be relieved of his current responsibilities with immediate effect and not be assigned any work related to the state until the elections are over.
Condemning the Election Commission’s order, the NGO Coordination Committee, an umbrella body of major civil society and student organisations led by Yong Mizo Association, had requested every “Mizo” to demand the resignation of Shashank.