Election Commission Suspends Odisha CM’s Special Secretary

Khushbu Kumari Jha
Election Commission Suspends Odisha CM Special Secretary
Election Commission Suspends Odisha CM Special Secretary

The Election Commission has suspended Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik’s Special Secretary DS Kute and ordered IG Ashish Kumar Singh to undergo a medical checkup at Bhubaneswar AIIMS.

Before the voting of the last phase of Lok Sabha elections, the Central Election Commission (ECI) has taken action against two very special and close officers of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The commission has suspended Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik's Special Secretary DS Kutey on charges of influencing the assembly elections along with the Lok Sabha elections. At the same time, the commission has ordered Inspector General of Police (CM Security) Ashish Kumar Singh, who is on long leave, to appear at Bhubaneswar AIIMS today and get his medical checkup done.

Both these senior IPS officers posted in Odisha are considered to be trusted officers of the CM. This action of the Election Commission was taken on the basis of information given by the Chief Electoral Officer Odisha, which indicated that both the officers were directly exerting 'undue' influence on the conduct of election work.

BJP had alleged

In a letter to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Odisha, the ECI said that 1997 batch IPS officer D.S. Kute, currently working as Special Secretary to the Chief Minister, should be suspended for 'interfering' in the conduct of elections. Earlier, many Odisha BJP leaders had accused these officers and some other officers of working as agents of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) instead of performing their duties.

The Bharatiya Janata Party had alleged that Kutte was directly involved in the election management of the Biju Janata Dal.

The letter said that during the suspension period, Kute's headquarters has been fixed at the office of the Resident Commissioner of Odisha in New Delhi, where he has to report by 3 pm on Wednesday.

Ashish Singh, a 2010 batch IPS officer currently serving as IG (CM Security), is on medical leave since May 4. The letter said that Singh will have to appear for a detailed and thorough medical checkup by a special medical board constituted by the director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Bhubaneswar before May 30, 2024.

Background of DS Kute and Ashish Singh

If we give you information about DS Kute and Ashish Singh, then the name of 56-year-old DS Kute's father is Sambhaji Kute. Before being selected in IPS, he had graduated from Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad. Currently, he is the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Earlier, he was the Transport Commissioner of Odisha (5 December 2016 to 1 January 2017). He has been posted on the post of IGP and DIGP. He was the SP of Jajpur from 20 April 2007 to 29 May 2011. Before this, he was posted as SP City in Rourkela. While working as DIG Police (Intelligence), Kute received the Police Medal on the occasion of Republic Day in 2013 for commendable service.

IPS Ashish Singh was given the responsibility of protecting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in February 2019. He has been with him since then.