KATHMANDU, Nov 23: The Election Commission has refused to approve the transfer of Chief District Officer (CDO) of six districts. The EC, on Thursday, has directed Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) to submit the original file of the decision within 24 hours.
Home Ministry officials cited that CDOs of Solukhumbu, Nuwakot and Rasuwa were transferred following complaints against their failure to maintain law and order in the districts.
“The Election Commission has refused to make approval on a letter of consent received from Home Minister regarding the transfer of six gazetted second-class officers”, said EC’s spokesperson Navaraj Dhakal and added,” The commission has ordered the ministry to submit the original file within 24 hours.”
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who is also overseeing the home ministry, had held a security council meeting with the chiefs of all security bodies regarding security challenges during the upcoming elections. One of the high-level security officials had briefed the PM that it might not be that easy to conduct the elections in few districts. Following which, PM Deuba had ordered to proceed with the transfer of the CDOs.
On the same day, the MoHA had written the letter to the EC seeking the consent from the EC. The same day newly appointed CDOs to the concerned districts.
The EC has imposed the election code of conduct from August 30. According to the Election Code of Conduct Act, 2015, government or any public offices are prohibited to transfer and depute officers without consent of the Election Commission.
MoHA prepares to send clarification
The MoHA has held a discussion on Thursday regarding the news of disapproval from the EC regarding the transfer of the CDOs. However, the ministry has claimed that it has not received the letter from the EC.
“We came to know about the letter of EC seeking clarification within 24-hours on the transfer of the CDOs”, informed spokesperson Narayan Sharma of MoHA to Republica, and added, “We have not received the letter yet. We will discuss and will send the clarification. For now, the newly appointed CDOs will continue duty.”
The ministry on Tuesday had transferred Bhupendra Thapa of Solukhumbu, Jagdish Raj Baral of Nuwakot and Heera Devi Poudel of Rasuwa and had replaced Sunil Khanal in Solukhumbu and Birendra Yadav in Nuwakot and Chomendra Neupane in Rasuwa. Thapa has been transferred to the Central Regional Administration Office, Hetauda, whereas Baral has been called back to the ministry and Poudel has been shifted to the Immigration Office, at Tribhuvan International Airport.