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EC orders removal of UP Home Secretary

By Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow
April 07, 2009 19:59 IST
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The Election Commission on Tuesday jolted the Mayawati government by ordering removal of Uttar Pradesh Principal Home Secretary Kunwar Fateh Bahadur in the larger interest of free and fair Lok Sabha elections in the state.

According to an official spokesman, EC has sought a panel of three names to finalise a new incumbent. The names will be forwarded to the EC after the return of Mayawati from her poll campaign in certain other states.

While EC's axe had so far fallen on a few district level officers, this was the first time that a senior officer was given marching orders in the current election process.

It was not clear whether there were any specific complaints against the conduct of Fateh Bahadur who is generally regarded as a blunt and forthright officer; sources said that a number of complaints were received by the EC about the "partisan and motivated" working of state Director General of Police Vikram Singh. Serious doubts were stated to have been raised about his impartiality.

Speculation is rife that the names of Singh and a few other Indian Administrative Services and Indian Police Services officers holding key positions in Luknow and some districts were also on EC's chopping block.

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Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow