The participation of Phidalia Toi, Chairperson of the Meghalaya State Women’s Commission during a rally taken out by Jowai NPP candidate, Wailadmiki Shylla to file his nomination papers has raised many eyebrows.
In videos and a photograph shared with the media, the chairperson was seen walking hand in hand with the candidate in the streets of Jowai. Though she did not make an entry into the chamber of the returning officer, she had made a peace sign with her fingers standing with Shylla outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office after he filed his papers.
Concern citizens said the participation of Toi in the rally has given room for suspicion that she is favouring the candidate.
Toi holds the position of a public servant after she was appointed as the chairperson of the panel in December, 2021.
As per the Meghalaya State Commission for Women Act, 2005 the chairperson, vice chairperson, members, officers and other employees of the commission shall be deemed public servants with the meaning of Section 21 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 2 (c) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
The Election Commission of India in its guidelines for the conduct of government servants in relation to elections had stressed that all government employees should maintain an attitude of strict impartiality.
The other point stressed by the ECI is that a government servant should take no part in any election campaign or canvassing and that he should take scrupulous care not to lend his name, official position or authority to assist one group as against any other.
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