Hassan DC post turns into a musical chair; 5 officers in 5 yrs

Hassan DC post turns into a musical chair; 5 officers in 5 yrs

The government appears to have turned the post of deputy commissioner in Hassan district into a musical chair.

Consider this: Five IAS officers have been posted here in a span of four and half years.

Rohini Sindhuri Dasari, the 2009-batch officer whose transfer earlier this week kicked up a storm, had the shortest tenure - a tad over six months. Chief electoral officer, Karnataka, Sanjiv Kumar, stepped in to put the transfer "on hold."

Umesh H Kusugal had the longest tenure as the deputy commissioner, from January 2014 to July 2016. The average tenure of other officers - K P Mohan Raj, V Anbukumar and V Chaitra - lasted just over an year.

Rohini's transfer is not the first to have stirred a controversy. Anbukumar's transfer in December 2014 evoked strong criticism from various sections of society. Holenarsipur legislator H D Revanna had, then, attributed political motives to the transfer.

It is said that there were growing differences between Rohini and Hassan district in-charge Minister A Manju. The minister was particularly irked during Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's recent visit to Arsikere, when Rohini hopped into his helicopter, leaving Manju to take the road to Belur.

Rohini's transfer drew the ire of office of the chief electoral officer (OCEO) because deputy commissioners of all districts, in their capacity as district election officers, are currently engaged in updation of electoral rolls (special summary revision).

Soon after the government on Monday transferred three deputy commissioners, including Rohini, the OCEO reminded chief secretary K Ratna Prabha that the transfers cannot be given effect until after final publication of electoral rolls, which is on February 28.

"The Representation of People Act is very clear that officers involved in roll revision work are deemed to be on deputation to the Election Commission," Kumar said.

He said he was yet to "officially" receive communication from the government, seeking concurrence, allowing the transfer.

"Once I receive communication, I will send it to the Election Commission, which will examine it. Concurrence will be given only if there's an extraordinary reason for the transfer. At my level, I can only put the transfer on hold," he said.

Siddaramaiah has accused the OCEO of "interfering" in administrative matters. "Someone in the government should brief the chief minister about the legal position," Kumar said.

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