KATHMANDU, Nov 22: Ahead of two rounds of crucial elections, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) has transferred the chief district officers (CDOs) of three districts. Bhupendra Thapa of Solukhumbu, Jagdish Raj Baral of Nuwakot and Heera Devi Poudel of Rasuwa have been transferred.
According to Home Ministry Spokesperson Narayan Sharma, Sunil Khanal has been sent to Solukhumbu and Birendra Yadav to Nuwakot and Chomendra Neupane to Rasuwa. The Election Commission (EC) is conducting elections in these districts on Sunday. 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.
Home Ministry officials said these officials were transferred following complaints against their failure to maintain law and order in the districts. In Nuwakot, Netra Bikram Chand-led CPN had ambushed an election convoy of former finance minister Ram Sharan Mahat although he remained unhurt in the attack.
Contrary to the previous practice of taking consent from the EC, the government has been accused of transferring district administration chiefs and police chiefs haphazardly.
Asked about whether the government had sought consent before transferring these officials, EC Spokesperson Navaraj Dhakal said the ministry might have taken consent from the election body. “They might have taken consent although I could not confirm it with the election commissioners as they had already left the office,” said Spokesperson Dhakal.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who is also overseeing the home ministry, had held a security council meeting with the chief 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.
According to a MoHA official, Prime Minister Deuba had then directed to the transfer the CDOs after seeking permission from the EC.