ECI smells fishy job appointment, orders probe
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 20: Even as processes for election to the Ninth State Legislative Assembly have been set into motion information culled by the press indicate that appointments have been effected thereby amounting to violation of election code of Conduct.

Consequently, acting on the instruction of the Election Commission of India, investigation has been started into the alleged appointment of seven individuals on contract basis in the State Agriculture Department's Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Wangbal result of which could have unwanted consequences for defying prescribed rules governing election procedures announced already.

Disclosing this to The Sangai Express, a reliable source said appointment of seven employees on contract basis in violation of the model code of conduct of the election by the State Agriculture Department has come to the notice of the Election Commission of India, and subsequently the Commission instructed Chief Election Officer of the State to probe the matter.

Along with announcement for holding Assembly elections in three States including Manipur on December 29, the Commission effected the code.

However, in defiance of it, the appointment order of seven employees was issued on December 30 by twisting date for declaring the results to December 28 a day prior to the ECI notification, the source said.

The source identified the seven appointed on contract basis as Matter Specialist Kh Premlata Devi (Horticulture) Dr S Jeshmarani (Veterinary and Animal Husbandry), Y Bedajit (Fisheries), L Babita Devi (Programme Assistant-Computer), RK Lembisana Devi (Programme Assistant-Home Science), W Jiten (Farm Manager) and M Geeta Devi (Junior Steno cum Computer Operator).

M Geeta Devi is informed to be a close relative of the Director of Agriculture Department M Ibochouba, according to the source.

In connection with the appointment of employees in violation of the model code of conduct of the election, the Election Commission entrusted the Chief Electoral Officer to conduct an inquiry and subsequently a probe is reportedly underway.

On being contacted, an official of the Department admitted that a complaint has been received in this connection and all the relevant documents have been sought from the Department.

The official further disclosed that though the DPC for appointment of employees on contract basis in the KVK, Wangbal was scheduled to be held on November 14, it was postponed and actually held on November 17.However, it has been detected that the DPC members appended their signatures on the list of the recommended candidates on November 14 with the DPC chairman following suit on January 15.Meanwhile, conveying that the reply to the explanation call sought by the State Chief Electoral Officer in connection with the alleged appointment of seven employees in the KVK Wangbal has been submitted, another source however, disclosed that the reply given by the Agriculture Director maintained silence on whether the State Cabinet had given its approval on the appointment or not.

The reply further mentioned that the DPC for the appointment was conducted on November 22 and the results declared on December 28 after receiving the conveyed approval from the Government on December 27. The report received by the State Election Officer is likely to be forwarded to the Election Commission soon and the results of the DPC kept in abeyance.

The foundation of the KVK, Wangbal being set up inside the campus of Wangbal Rice Research centre with cent percent funding under Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) was laid by Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh last year.