Musical chair of deputy commissioners in Mysuru

Musical chair of deputy commissioners in Mysuru

At a time when the process of the Assembly elections is underway, the transfers of the Deputy Commissioners rocked the district over a couple of months. There have been transfers of three DCs in a span of 53 days, from March 7 up to April 29.

In the present bureaucratic system, a remnant of the British Raj, the Deputy Commissioner, originally the Divisional Deputy Commissioner, is a highly powerful post with the centralisation of all powers, despite claims of decentralisation by the governments over the decades, said an official.

“While the post of Divisional Commissioner, now changed to Regional Commissioner, is just a ceremonial post, with almost no powers, their juniors, the DCs in the districts, are all powerful. For all major elections, the DCs act as District Election Officers.

In the Assembly elections, even though each segment has a separate returning officer along with state and Central observers, the DCs are responsible for all the arrangements, starting from announcement of the election up to the declaration of the results. They are responsible for the adherence of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by the political parties and the candidates. They are also responsible for penalising the violators of the MCC. The DCs delegate the duties to district-level officials and supervise their functioning,” said a senior official.

While K B Sivakumar was appointed as DC in place of D Randeep on March 7, Sivakumar could take charge only on March 12 as Randeep could not take charge at his designated place of Hassan.

Hassan DC Rohini Sindhuri had obtained a stay to her transfer order and hence Randeep had to wait for some time. Again Randeep had to vacate the place in Hassan on April 24 for Dr P C Jaffer.

In Mysuru Darpan Jain was posted in place of Sivakumar on April 16. Soon, Abhiram G Sankar replaced Jain on April 29.

According to sources in the government, Randeep had to be moved out of Mysuru as he was seen as a man of the ‘establishment’, in the district. “Sivakumar and Jain too were found ‘listening’ to the ‘power centres’ and the Election Commission had a difficult time. In view of ensuring the fair conduct of the polls, the EC is testing Abhiram G Sankar now,” sources added.

Meanwhile, a senior government official said, with the frequent transfers of the DCs, it is difficult to put the system and process in order.