The Election Commission on Wednesday suspended an officer posted as General Observer in Odisha for allegedly checking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s chopper in Sambalpur in violation of the laid down norms.
The 1996 batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer, Mohammed Mohsin, has not acted in conformity with the Election Commission’s instructions concerning SPG protectees, an order issued by the commission said.
On the basis of a report from the district collector and the DIG of police, the Election Commission has taken action against the General Observer of Sambalpur came a day after the prime minister’s visit on Tuesday.
“Checking of the prime minister’s chopper, undertaken at Sambalpur, was not in accordance with the EC guidelines as SPG protectees are exempt from such checking,” said a senior official without elaborating.
The prime minister was stated to have been held up at the place for around 15 minutes because of the sudden checking, the official said.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s helicopter was also checked by the personnel of the EC flying squad in Rourkela on Tuesday, according to PTI.
Congress questioned the Election Commission’s order and said EC rules “do not exempt” PM’s vehicle from being checked.
The party asked, “What is Modi carrying in the helicopter that he doesn’t want India to see?”
Congress’ Ahmed Patel also questioned the commission’s decision and said that “there have been instances where during polls EC was allowed to check convoys of both current and the former Congress president”.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also took a dig at Modi and tweeted:
(With PTI inputs)