Indian Express

Day after stand-off with EC, Didi vows ‘revenge’ over ‘insult’ by Delhi

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Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (Reuters) Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (Reuters)

Sparks continue to fly with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday vowing to avenge the insult meted to West Bengal by “Delhi” and the Election Commission seeking the CDs of the Trinamool Congress chief’s public meetings where she had attacked the poll body, challenging its authority to shift SPs and DMs “without consulting the state government”.

Banerjee has insisted that her government cannot be “changed” by transferring a few officials, after a day-long stand-off between her and the EC on Tuesday over transfer eight top officials in the state with the West Bengal CM finally yielding to the poll body’s pressure, but not before it threatened to withhold the elections in the state.

“The way Bengal was insulted following the instruction of Delhi, we will not forget that. We will take revenge. I am not anybody’s servant. I am not the servant of CPM and Congress. People would give an answer to the insult meted out to Bengal,” Banerjee told an election rally in Burdwan on Wednesday. “The government in Bengal cannot be changed by transferring and removing some officials. People have brought this government. We will wait till the election gets over and then we will act.”

The Election Commission was not willing to budge either. “The official videography of the CM’s speeches have been sought from the DMs of Hooghly, Burdwan and Bankura. Those would be sent to the Election Commission of India for their perusal,” said Sunil Gupta, the state chief electoral officer (CEO).

The poll body has also transferred officer on special duty (OSD) Barun Roy to Uttar Pradesh as general observer. Sources said the move was in reaction to the Congress’s complaint that Barun had worked as former personal secretary of TMC leader Mukul Roy when he was the state shipping minister.  There were also allegations that the OSD was “working for the state government”, however, the CEO maintained “it was a routine transfer”.

Speaking at the rally, the TMC chief also trained guns at BJP, Congress and CPM. “BJP is neither ‘Gharka’ nor ‘Ghatka’. They do not have any organisation in Bengal,” she said and alleged that “Congress has been sold out to CPM. But I do not care. I fought alone and ousted CPM from the state. People are with me.”

Meanwhile, tainted TMC leader Anubrata Mondal’s presence on the dais with Banerjee triggered a controversy. Mondal is a prime accused in a murder case in Birbhum during panchayat elections in 2013. However, Banerjee said the media and opposition leaders were after Mondal for no reason.

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