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Can't suspend officials: Digvijay to EC
March 17, 2003 19:53 IST
Despite a directive from the Election Commission, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh on Monday refused to suspend errant poll officials.
"We are asking the state chief electoral officer to file a charge sheet. How can we suspend them even before a charge sheet is filed?" Singh said after a 30-minute meeting with the full commission headed by J M Lyngdoh in New Delhi.
"We shall follow the service rules as prescribed by the Government of India because they are Government of India officials," he said.
The commission had recently directed suspension and inquiry against six administrative-cum-poll officials and disciplinary action against ten others for "dereliction" of duty in revision of electoral rolls.
When reminded that West Bengal had to abide by such a directive from the EC, the chief minister said it was because there the election notification was out at the time of the order.
"I am not going into the nitty-gritty of the issue. We shall cooperate totally with the Election Commission to hold an impartial election," he said.
He regretted that the issue had been blown out of proportion with even Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his deputy Lal Kishenchand Advani expressing concern.
Singh said the controversy had arisen because of printing error in the draft voters' list.
Assuring the commission of "full cooperation", Singh said that the EC took the decision against the officials "without making a detailed enquiry".
The chief minister said that if he had any bad intentions, he would have manipulated the voters' list to favour his party.
More reports from Madhya Pradesh
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