Call of poll duty takes 70 IAS officers away from state
Seventy Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers from Maharashtra have been deployed for election duty in five states – Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram. Bureaucrats from the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and other government institutions have been assigned the task.
Dinkar Jagdale, an IAS officer and currently, the chief of the Mumbai Repairs and Reconstruction Board (MRRB), has been assigned poll duty in Chhattisgarh. He said, "I am looking after Kota constituency, 140 kilometres from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh. My role involves addressing the grievances of voters and for the same, helpline numbers have been provided. Besides this, I have to ensure there is no tampering with the electronic voting machine(EVM) and voting takes place peacefully." In Chhattisgarh itself, there are 14 IAS officers from the state, while the rest are on duty in other states, said Jagdale.
Kota is the constituency of Renu Jogi, the wife of Chhattisgarh's first chief minister Ajit Jogi. She has been the face of the constituency for the past 15 years, contesting on a Congress ticket. However, this year, since her husband has formed his own political party, the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J), she is the face of this new party in the constituency. The leading political parties in the fray are the Indian National Congress Party, the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J), and the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP).
Similarly, Sanjay Khandare, additional municipal commissioner of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), and Deependra Singh Kushwah, chief of the MHADA's Mumbai board, are in Hyderabad and Rajasthan, on poll duty respectively.
While voting in Rajasthan and Telangana was held on Friday, in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram, it was on November 28. Polling in Chhattisgarh was held in two phases, on November 12 and 20. Only after the results will be declared on December 11 in all five states, will the Maharashtra IAS officers return to their home grounds.