Election Commission sacks IAS officer for publicity stunt on Instagram with Toyota Innova Crysta

Gujarat is preparing for the next elections and the state will vote on December 1 and December 5 for a new government. Ahead of Gujarat elections, the Election Commission has started appointing officers for election duty. One such officer, who is an IAS officer from UP-Cadre, Abhishek Singh was sacked from election duty for for allegedly posting pictures of him with government vehicle on social media. Abhishek Singh was appointed as the Observer for Gujarat elections in Bapunagar and Aswara constituencies of Ahmedabad.

Abhishek Singh had posted pictures of him with a Toyota Innova Crysta. It is a government vehicle as it came with Observer board in the front. The officer shared two pictures on Instagram and other social media platforms. In one of the images, the officer is seen posing next to the Innova Crysta while in the second one, Abhishek Singh along with three other officers and a security personnel are seen posing for pictures in front of the Innova Crysta. Abhishek Singh’s post that went viral said, “Joined Ahmedabad as Observer for Gujarat Elections #Election2022 #GujaratElections2022#NoVoterTobeleftBehindNovember.” 

The image that was posted on Instagram and other social media platform was noticed by the Election Commission and they took immediate action against the officer. The Election Commission came to a conclusion that Abhishek Singh, who was appointed as the Observer for Gujarat elections took advantage of his official position to pull out a publicity stunt. The Commission immediately removed Abhishek Singh from his duties as General Observer. Other than that, he has also been debarred from any kind of election related duty till further orders.

Election Commission had asked the officer to leave the constituency immediately and report to his parent cadre, which is Uttar Pradesh. All the government facilities including the Toyota Innova Crysta seen in the pictures were taken away from the officer. After the incident, Gujarat chief election officer said that in accordance with Election Commission’s guidelines, Abhishek Singh’s duties have been handed over to Krishan Bajpai, who is another IAS officer. After the Election Commission took action against Abhishek Singh, the officer came forward with another post on Twitter. The Post said, “I accept the Hon’ble ECI’s decision with all humility Though I believe there’s nothing wrong in this post. A public servant, in a car bought by public’s money, reporting for public duty,with public officials, communicating it to the public. It is neither publicity nor a stunt!”

Elections are part of democracy and the Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India. The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country. We feel that the action taken against the officer was to avoid any controversy that would have come up during the upcoming elections. Gujarat as a state would go out and vote on December 1 and December 5 and the results for the same would be declared on December 8.