Bengal Governor finally clears name of new state election commissioner

by IANS |

Kolkata, June 7 (IANS) After a month-long uncertainty, the Governor House in West Bengal has ultimately cleared the name of retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and former state chief secretary Rajiva Sinha as the new state elections commissioner.

The chair of the West Bengal State Election Commissioner had been lying vacant following the end of the tenure of the previous commissioner Saurav Das on May 28.

However, tension had been brewing between the state secretariat and the Governor House over the selection of the new commissioner for quite some time.

First, the state government has recommended the name of only Rajiva Sinha for the chair. However, Governor C.V. Ananda Bose refused to clear the name on the basis of a single recommendation. Thereafter, the state government had also forwarded the name of the current additional chief secretary to the department of North Bengal development Ajit Ranjan Bardan as the second recommendation.

However, the Governor House insisted on getting a third recommendation from the state secretariat on this count, which the latter refused to abide by. The state government's contention was that although the Chief Election Commissioner of India is appointed from three recommended names, the same criterion is not applicable in case of appointment of state election commissioner.

At that point of time even the chief minister Mamata Banerjee had expressed anguish over the delay in appointment of the state election commissioner. "We have never faced such hurdles in the process before. I hope that good sense will prevail," the chief minister said.

However, finally the deadlock on the issue ended on Wednesday with the Governor House clearing the name of Sinha.

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