Facing criticism, the West Bengal State Election Commission (WBSEC) on Wednesday finally issued an instruction barring election-related duty for the forthcoming panchayat polls to medical officers associated with different state-run medical utilities.
In a directive to all the district magistrates and district panchayat election officers, the additional chief secretary of the commission clearly stated that medical officers have been exempted from any kind of poll-related duty.
Controversies shrouded recently after the administration in Howrah district allotted election-related duties to doctors associated with the state-run medical outfits.
The Association of Health Service Doctors- West Bengal has written to the West Bengal State Election Commission expressing their objection to the development.
In the letter, the association has contended that since the doctors being involved in emergency services of utmost importance like health care services, how the district administration could allot them the duties of presiding officers or polling officers. The association has pointed out that this is unprecedented in the polling history at least in the state.
In the same order to all the district magistrates and district panchayats, the election officers have also barred primary teachers and para-teachers associated with different state-run schools from being appointed as the fourth polling officers for the forthcoming panchayat elections.
"With reference to the above, I am directed to state that it has come to the notice of the Commission that there have been instances where Para Teachers and Primary Teachers have been appointed as Fourth Polling Officers and in other instances Medical Officers have been assigned polling duties. In this regard, I am directed to inform that Para Teachers or Primary Teachers may not be appointed as Fourth Polling Officers and where Medical Officers have been assigned polling duties, they may be exempted," read the order, a copy of which is available with IANS.
( 318 Words)