Himansu Shekhar Rout

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday filed a complaint at the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) against senior IAS officer Sujata Karthikeyan, accusing her of obstructing free and fair elections in Odisha. The BJP also demanded her immediate suspension and removal from Odisha. 
In the complaint, the BJP alleged that a triumvirate - IPS officer DS Kutey, IPS officer Ashish Kumar Singh and IAS officer Sujata Karthikeyan - is operating under the directions of retired IAS and BJD leader VK Pandian, who is the husband of Sujata, and the ‘political heir’ Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

“The conduct of all of these three civil servants was in gross violation of not only of All India Services Conduct Rules, but also of clear directions of the ECI and violative of provisions Electoral laws,” it was stated in the complaint. 

The BJP also accused Sujata of being engaged in electoral malpractices and playing an active role in inciting a wave of electoral violence in Odisha during the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

“The ECI had recently found her meddling and proactively trying to influence elections. Later, she had been shifted out to a job not related to public dealing or elections in any manner,” the BJP said, adding that despite ECI instructions, she continued to engage in electoral malpractice and abuse of machinery, characterized by widespread violence and voter intimidation. 

However, no reaction was received either from Sujata Karthikeyan or the BJD.

Notably, on May 2, the Election Commission of India (ECI) directed the Odisha government to transfer Sujata Karthikeyan from the post of commissioner- cum-secretary of the Department of Mission Shakti. She was transferred as the Special Secretary of the Finance Department.

The ECI order came after the Odisha BJP repeatedly raised allegations against Sujata that she had been influencing SHG women to vote for the BJD by misusing her power and government machinery.  

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