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ECI removes Home Secretaries of six states

The officers include Pankaj Joshi from Gujarat, Sanjay Prasad from Uttar Pradesh, Arava Rajkamal from Jharkhand, S Siddharth from Bihar, Abhishek Jain from Himachal Pradesh and Vineet Kumar from Uttarakhand.

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ECI removes Home Secretaries of six states

Ahead of the election scheduled to begin on April 19, the of India (ECI) has issued orders for the removal of the Home Secretary in six states – Gujarat, , Bihar, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.Panka

The officers include Pankaj Joshi from Gujarat, Sanjay Prasad from Uttar Pradesh, Arava Rajkamal from Jharkhand, S Siddharth from Bihar, Abhishek Jain from Himachal Pradesh and Vineet Kumar from Uttarakhand.

Additionally, the secretaries of the General Administrative Departments (GADs) in Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh have also been removed.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is said to have made this move to “ensure level playing fields” and “to maintain the integrity of the poll process”.

The officials who have been removed in these seven states were found to be holding dual charges in the office of Chief Minister in respective states which may potentially compromise or be seen to be compromising the impartiality and neutrality required during the electoral process, especially in matters relating to law and order, deployment of forces, etc.

Furthermore, the Election Commission has also taken the necessary action to remove the General of Police (DGP) of West Bengal. This decision was taken due to the DGP being removed from any active election management-related duty earlier, during the 2016 assembly election in the state and the 2019 Lok Sabha Election.

The election commission has also directed all state governments to transfer the officers connected with election-related work, who have completed three years or are in their home districts.

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