The Election Commission has replaced Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer SB Shashank after protests in the state demanding his ouster. Ashish Kundra has been appointed in his place. The crisis in the poll-bound state stems from Shashank alleging interference by the state government in preparations for the polls, scheduled on November 28.
He wrote to the EC in the last week of October, mentioning an “active role” played by the state Home Department in this interference. The department was then headed by Principal Secretary (Home) Lalnunmawia Chuaungo, a 1987-batch Gujarat-cadre IAS officer serving in Mizoram on an inter-cadre deputation.
Less than a week after receiving the letter, the poll panel issued orders to the state government to remove Chuaungo with immediate effect. Chuango’s removal led to demands for Shashank’s removal as the CEO.