The Mizoram Assembly polls, scheduled to be held on November 28, are most likely to be postponed to December 7, in view of controversy surrounded appointment of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) in the state. However, the Election Commission of India (ECI) is yet to take a final decision in this regard and need to consult the state government before taking a decision.
The controversy raised with the ECI’s order to remove Mizoram Principal Secretary (Home) L Chuaungo after receiving a complaint from State CEO S B Shashank, The CEO alleged “direct interference” by the state in the preparation for polls.
Chuaungo’s removal has led to a major controversy in the state ahead of elections, as all political parties and civil society groups protested against CEO Shashank. They organised protests all over the state. Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla himself wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding removal of Shashank as CEO.
After sending a three-member probe panel, the ECI has finally decided to replace Shashank and asked the state government to suggest alternate names. While the process is going on, with less than two weeks left for the polls and the replacement for CEO still undecides, the union Home Ministery said that discussions are going on to postpone the polls to December 7.
.The Home Ministry sources said that since the term of the Mizoram Assembly ends on December 15, 2018, the new CEO will get time to prepare after he is appointed. However, a change in date of elections in the state is a long-drawn process and will have to be done by bringing a notification. The final decision in this regard has to be taken by ECI.