Returning Officer and Assistant Returning Officer, suspended for violating Election Commission rules

Returning Officer and Assistant Returning Officer, suspended for violating Election Commission rules
Highlights

District Collector K Shashank has suspended two election officials, Returning Officer and Assistant Returning Officer, appointed during first phase of gram panchayat elections at Patapalam village for not abiding by the election norms stipulated by the Election Commission

Gadwal: District Collector K Shashank has suspended two election officials, Returning Officer and Assistant Returning Officer, appointed during first phase of gram panchayat elections at Patapalam village for not abiding by the election norms stipulated by the Election Commission.

While releasing the suspension orders against K Muralaidhar and P Sudharshan, both School Assistants of Upper Primary Schools of KT Doddi and Koochinerala, the Collector in the order stated that the duo were suspended for violating rules laid by the Election Commission with regard to a case relating to the withdrawal of nomination of a woman candidate at Patapalam gram panchayat.

As per the Election Commission rules, the withdrawal of nominations for the first phase of elections was 3 pm on January 13. However, the two officials who were on duty as RO and ARO in connivance with some local leaders had initiated the withdrawal of nomination of a woman Sarpanch candidate named Ramulamma at 4.30 pm, who was forced to withdraw her nominations at the behest of some local politicians in the village.

Later based on a complaint from Ramulamma and her supporters that she was forced to withdraw her nomination due to force from the local village leaders, the District Collector had ordered an inquiry into the matter and asked the Revenue Division Officer (RDO) to submit a report on the issue.
The report was later sent to the SEC.

The SEC responded on the same and found fault with the RO and ARO for initiating the withdrawal of nomination of Ramulamma after the actual time set by the Commission had ended and directed the District Collector to immediately suspend the two officers who violated the EC rules. In Suryapet, Collector Amoy Kumar on Thursday suspended two election officials for failing to safeguard the ballot papers.

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