SEC Joint Director discharged from services for ‘trying to derail Gram Panchayat elections’

State Election Commission (SEC) Joint Director G.V. Sai Prasad has been discharged from his services for allegedly influencing the employees to go on mass leave, thereby derail the process of Gram Panchayat (GPs) elections.

In his proceedings on Monday, Commissioner N. Ramesh Kumar stated that the elections to GPs were notified on January 9 and all senior officers including the SEC Secretary were directed to be available at the headquarters and not to be absent without his permission.

But, Mr. Sai Prasad has purportedly placed a leave letter for 30 days and left without giving any intimation in spite of him being the senior most functionary of SEC after its Secretary.

Besides, Mr. Sai Prasad is charged with influencing the employees to apply for leave en masse as part of a larger design to adversely effect the functioning of the Commission against the backdrop of some recent developments.

Mr. Sai Prasad committed these illegal acts from his chamber before his unauthorised departure. Barring one or two misguided persons, the rest of the employees rebuffed his counsel and indoctrination to desert the Commission, it was mentioned in the proceedings.

The SEC invoked it’s plenary powers vested under Articles 243-K and 324 of the Constitution to discharge him from his services to safeguard the integrity of the election process.

It may be noted that the State government and SEC are embroiled in a major controversy over the proposed conduct of GP elections in February.

The SEC is determined to hold the elections in four phases next month and it is being strongly opposed by the government on the ground that the situation is not conducive due to a possible second wave of COVID and the vaccination programme.

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