Kohima, Feb 9: Poll-bound Nagaland finds itself in a catch-22 situation as state chief secretary Alemtemshi Jamir and additional chief secretary Banou Z. Jamir have gone on leave to ensure a fair play as their son is contesting the state assembly elections.
“We have gone on leave since yesterday (Friday) since our son is contesting the state assembly elections and to prevent any misgivings in the minds of various political parties and the electorates,” Alemtemshi told IANS Saturday.
Jamir’s son Merentoshi, at 32 the youngest candidate in fray, is contesting from Mongya assembly constituency on the ruling Naga People’s Front ticket.
He is pitted against Ngangshi K. Ao, a former cabinet minister in the Neiphiu Rio ministry.
Nagaland will elect new legislators for the 60-member assembly Feb 23. Counting will take place Feb 28.
“Our 20 days’ leave was to assure the people of the state that the entire elections process are being held in free and fair manner,” he added.
Alemtemshi said the Election Commission has granted them leave following their request to ensure free and fair polls.
While the gesture from the couple has drawn appreciation, the absence of the two senior officials in the election time has put the administration in a fix.
The Election Commission has directed Toshi Aier, additional chief secretary, finance, to hold temporary charge of the office of chief secretary, while additional Chief secretary H.K. Khullu has been asked to hold temporary charge as additional chief secretary and commissioner border affairs.
Both Alemtemshi Jamir and Banou Z. Jamir are Indian administrative Service officers.