Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 9 :
Senior scientists at the Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, Kaushalyaganga, have reacted sharply to the order of the Puri collector asking all the members of its staff including the high ranking principal scientists to work as micro observers for the second phase polls in Odisha on April 17.
Sources at CIFA said principal scientists at CIFA are in the highest grade pay bracket and at par with principal secretary level officers of the state government have been asked to work as micro observers along with junior level officials.
A senior CIFA scientist, angry over what he described as an unjust order said, ” We do not hesitate to perform our constitutional duties, but it should be commensurate to our position. Will the state government deploy a secretary level officer to do a job that junior assistants are asked perform ?”, he asked.
The Puri collector, according to sources, had originally asked CIFA authorities to send 19 officials from the Institute for deployment as micro-observers during the second phase election. Like in all previous elections, CIFA submitted the entire list of its staff members to the collector’s office for the selection of 19 persons from among the junior level officers whose position are commensurate to the responsibilities of micro observers.
When contacted the Puri district collector and election officer Dhiren Kumar Patnaik said the CIFA officials have been appointed under the guidelines of Election Commission.
“Micro observers come under observers, who have already been appointed by the Election Commission of India. They are are officials of government of India. So, they have been appointed under the guidelines.”
He,however, said that he will take up the matter before the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), if the officials of CIFA request him to reconsider his decision.
The Election Commission guideline says the micro observers will work directly under the observers appointed by the Commission and states, ” for deployment as micro-observer, the DEO will obtain the list of Gazetted Officers /officials of Government of India from different offices in the district. Such Gazetted officers/officials will be eligible to be deployed as micro observer. In case Gazetted officers are not sufficient in number, Group ‘C’ employees and above can also be utilized for this purpose.