Panaji, Oct 1, Sunday (IANS) The Goa Government’s Employees Association on Sunday likened a recent directive which forced booth-level poll officials to work on Dussehra holiday (September 30) to the administrative diktats in Hitler-led Germany. “Such type of directives to work with unorganized working hours were issued only by Adolf Hitler in Germany which were long proved to be wrong. India is a democratic country. We place great importance on human rights and values,” John Nazareth president of the association said in a statement, condemning “dictatorial” directives by Assistant Election Returning Officers (AERO), asking booth-level poll officials to organize special camps at polling stations on Dussehra.“Issuing such directives by the election authorities gives an impression that they have started feeling that they are above the law. It’s a well-settled law that weekly working hours of employees cannot exceed 40 hours. United Nations are emphasizing on the same for the welfare of working class,” the statement said. Nazareth said that on Friday night, a surprise communique was issued by AEROs directing booth level poll officers to organize special camps at their polling stations on September 30, between 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. The orders were issued by AEROs who function under the command of the state Chief Electoral Officer.“They were also directed to call at 5 p.m. and give the report. The recent orders issued by the AEROs also mandates the-the BLOs to do their work after office hours, Saturdays, Sundays and on public holidays,” Nazareth said, terming the government order a “violation of human rights”. “The Association requests the election authorities to immediately put an end to such dictatorial attitude, lest GGEA will not hesitate to organize symbolic marchs at all sub-district headquarters and highlight the issue,” Nazareth said. A majority of the state government 50,000 odd bureaucrats are members of the Goa Government Employees Association.
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