Bargarh Collector, SP changed ahead of Bijepur by-poll

Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the Bijepur by-poll, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to change the Collector and SP of Bargarh district.

The Bijepur by-poll is scheduled for February 24.

The Election Commission has decided to change Bargarh Collector Khagendra Kumar Padhi and SP Jugal Kishor Kumar Banoth.

The ECI has asked the Odisha government to recommend the names of three IAS officers and three IPS officers belonging to the Orissa cadre who have experience in conducting elections, said an official.

From the suggested names, one IAS officer will be selected for the post of Collector and an IPS officer will be appointed as SP of the district, said the official.

The Home Department has already recommended the names of three IPS officers of the Orissa cadre for appointment as SP of the district. The IPS officers, whose names were recommended are – Jai Narayan Pankaj, K. Siva Subramani and Pinak Mishra. The General Administration Department has also sent the list of IAS officers for the post of Collector, the source said.

The IAS officers are Rajesh Prabhakar Patil, Yamini Sarangi and Poonam Guha.

The move of the ECI came after a seven-member BJP delegation led by state in-charge Arun Singh had filed a complaint against Bargarh Collector and Superintendent of Police in November 2017, demanding transfer of the duo.

The BJP had alleged that a free and fair by-poll cannot be held in Bijepur if the officials are not transferred.

Meanwhile, the campaign for the Bijepur by-poll has started in full swing with leaders of three major political parties BJD, BJP and Congress reaching to the people and canvassing votes for their party candidates.

While ruling BJD has fielded Rita Sahu, widow of Congress MLA Subal Sahu, Ashok Panigrahi is BJP’s Candidate. Congress has fielded Pranaya Sahu in the by-poll.