New Delhi/Kolkata: The Election Commission has rejected allegations of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that it ordered the transfer of four police officers at the behest of the ruling BJP at the Centre, saying the decision was based on “cumulative feedback.”
On Saturday, Ms Banerjee wrote to the Commission asking for a review of the decision, which she termed “highly arbitrary, motivated and biased”. “First change me. If you changing officers at the behest of BJP then remember these are also our officers,” the TMC chief said at a rally at Kalchini in north Bengal.
“By not following the established practice and not seeking a panel of officers from the State government, the action of the ECI is prima facie undemocratic, biased and suffers from principles of natural justice,” a letter by Chief Minister to the ECI read. Calling for a review of the order she described the decision of the Commission as “highly arbitrary, motivated and biased”. “We have every reason to believe that the decision of the Commission is at the behest of the ruling party at the centre, i.e. the BJP,” she alleged.
In an order, issue late on Friday evening the ECI transferred Kolkata police commissioner Anuj Sharma. Rajesh Kumar, who is currently posted as ADG, of West Pollution Control Board has been appointed as Kolkata Police Chief. Anuj Sharma, a 1991 batch IPS officer was appointed to the post of Kolkata police chief only a few months ago after his predecessor Rajiv Kumar’s tenure as the city police commissioner came to an end.
The ECI in a letter to West Bengal’s Chief Secretary also sought transfer of the Commissioner of adjacent Bidhannagar city police Gyanwant Singh. N Ramesh Babu, currently posted as ADG & IGP (Operations), will replace him. The Bidhannagar City Police, which has its jurisdiction over Salt Lake and Newton areas in the north eastern fringes of the city, was in the news over alleged intervention at the Kolkata airport in an incident involving TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee’s wife. EC has also transferred the Police Superintendents of two districts Birbhum and Diamond Harbour. Interestingly, Mr Banerjee is contesting form the Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha seat.
“The present incumbent officers being shifted not to be involved by the state Government in any election related duty,” the letter by ECI read. Political parties in the Opposition particularly the BJP has been raising allegations against a section of police offices of the state stating that they were trying to favour the State’s ruling party. (Input: News Agencies also)