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Ajitabh gets ‘exemption’ from EC as 4 IAS fail to find similar favour!

Jaipur: IAS Ajitabh Sharma will not be leaving for election duty now. The Election Commission had appointed him to discharge duty as observer in Telangana and he had to join on Wednesday, April 24. But the Rajasthan government had requested the Election Commission to exempt Ajitabh from the election duty and this request was accepted and now as Ajitabh’s alternative - Rajendra Vijay - is being sent for the purpose. Meanwhile, the ECI has not extended the same favour to 4 IAS of the state namely T Ravikanth, KK Pathak, Manju Rajpal and Punam even though the state government had made recommendations for them too, but now they will have to carry out the role assigned to them by the ECI.

Ajitabh Sharma is currently serving as Principal Secretary Industries and Chairman, RIICO. Notably, prior to him, even IAS Samit Sharma was exempted by the Election Commission after the state government made a similar request. In this instance, it was said that owing to summer season, there will be a dire need for the PHED Secretary to be available in the desert state to oversee the water related issues and hence Samit was granted the exemption.

Ajitabh is currently working to give final shape to several major investment projects and the ‘Invest Rajasthan Summit’ to be held in December this year. If he would have gone for election duty the work would have suffered for one whole month and hence an exemption was sought.

Furthermore, Ajitabh has recently been given the additional charge of Secretary, Mines in absence of Anandi who is on election duty to Maharashtra. On Monday, Ajitabh conducted an on the spot review of the ongoing refinery project in Barmer with CS Sudhansh Pant. During this time, senior officials of HPCL were also present in Pachpadra.

All 16 IAS who were appointed as election observers for the first phase of poll on April 19 have returned. Now the DoP will hand them additional charge of the posts of 16 IAS that will leave on April 24. It should be noted that 52 IAS from Rajasthan were shortlisted by the Election Commission for the Lok Sabha election which is being held in seven phases and the Commission approves exemption only in a situation when there is a robust reason to do so.

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