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Election Commission Orders Transfer of Officers in Four States Including Odisha Ahead of Lok Sabha Elections 2024

New Delhi: In a bid to ensure a level playing field in the forthcoming Lok Sabha Elections 2024, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued transfer orders for non-cadre officers holding leadership positions as District Magistrate (DM) and Superintendent of Police (SP) in four states: Gujarat, Punjab, Odisha, and West Bengal.

The decision, aimed at maintaining impartiality and transparency in the electoral process, follows a meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, along with Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu.

The officers slated for transfer are as follows:

Gujarat: SPs of Chhota Udaipur and Ahmedabad Rural districts
Punjab: SSPs of Pathankot, Fazilka, Jalandhar Rural, and Malerkotla districts
Odisha: DM of Dhenkanal and SPs of Deogarh and Cuttack Rural districts
West Bengal: DMs of Purba Medinipur, Jhargram, Purba Bardhaman, and Birbhum districts

Furthermore, the Commission has directed the transfer of SSP Bathinda in Punjab and SP Sonitpur in Assam due to their familial association with elected political representatives. This preemptive measure aims to dispel any perceptions of bias or compromise in administration.

In adherence to the directive, respective state governments have been instructed to promptly transfer non-encadred officers from their current roles as DM and SP/SSP, effective immediately. A compliance report is expected to be submitted to the Commission in due course.

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