Punjab officials 'approach' DCs to avoid poll duty

Many trying to ‘shirk’ work, others fear EC action in case of lapses

Punjab officials 'approach' DCs to avoid poll duty

Photo for representational puropsoe only. - File photo

Tribune News Service

Aman Sood

Patiala, January 19

Hundreds of government officials are trying to approach the district electoral officers (DEO) to seek exemption from poll duty. From politicians to journalists to family doctors of the DEOs, the government officials are trying to approach everyone to avoid poll duty.

Apprehending violence and Covid during the upcoming Vidhan Sabha polls, government employees are running from pillar to post to get exemption from poll duty. While a majority are allegedly trying to shirk work citing excuses, many others fear action by the Election Commission (EC) in case of lapses, if any.

NO EXEMPTION, ONLY ACTION

If senior officers can work in field throughout the day, govt officials can too...they should stop seeking exemption. I’ve already told my staff to recommend action under the Punjab Civil Service Rules against the officials approaching me. Sandeep Hans, Patiala DEO

Employees are queuing up outside the offices of the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) in various districts, who are also the DEOs, with applications to somehow escape the poll duty.

In many cases, the department heads are bowing to the pressure and recommending to the DEO that if “certain officials are put on election duty, the office work will suffer”.

“I have received 130 applications, while there are 50 messages in my phone. Everyone wants exemption from election work,” said an IAS officer.

For instance, maternity leave, severe infection, pain in heart, birthday of daughter, a sick relative, skin allergy, taking care of an infant, cooking for parents and attending to a pregnant wife are some of the excuses being made by government officials to seek exemption from poll duty.

A majority of the DEOs have, however, “almost decided to sanction leave only in case of any death”.

Meanwhile, women officials too want to stay away from poll duties, apprehending violence, while others fear repercussions for any lapse on the voting day.

Patiala DEO Sandeep Hans, however, has warned of strict action against all such officials approaching him.

Tribune Shorts


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