58 Per Cent Officials Fail Election Commission Test Before Madhya Pradesh Assembly Polls

58 Per Cent Officials Fail Election Commission Test Before Madhya Pradesh Assembly PollsChief Election Commissioner O P Rawat addresses a press conference ahead of MP assembly elections in Bhopal. (Mujeeb Faruqui/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

A large number of officials bound to take up charge of assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, have failed in a written test conducted by the Election Commission of India (ECI).

About 58 per cent of the officials, serving in the ranks of Deputy Collector, Sub-Divisional Officer, Tehsildars who will be later serving as Returning Officers (RO) and AROs across 230 constituencies have failed in the test conducted last month.

About a thousand officials are expected to be involved in the process, out of which over 560 took the test. Among them, just 244 managed to secure more than 70 per cent marks. The Indian Express reported that the officials will get a second chance to clear the tests.

The 560-odd officers underwent a four-day training program, where they were familiarised with the polling process. If they fail another attempt, the office of CEO is planning to write to the government to ensure that action taken against such officials. As an incentive, those officials who clear the test are given a certificate.

Some officials have reportedly failed the test deliberately just to escape the poll duty leading to the ECI to consider a penalty for those who fail. During the 2013 MP elections, one month’s salary was provided as an incentive for officials who were on poll duty.

O P Rawat, the Chief Election Commissioner has been reported to be upset over the lack of awareness about VVPAT. A majority of the officials were introduced to the new machines for the first time.