The Election Commission (EC) has expressed concern over the present situation in the state and warned some district magistrates and superintendents of police to be impartial.
The commission held a meeting with DMs and SPs on Saturday, during which it reviewed their work with regard to poll preparations. It instructed police officers to enforce the Model Code of Conduct strictly and remove all unauthorised banners, posters, festoons and flags, said a senior EC official on condition of anonymity.
“General instructions were given to all SPs and district magistrates to be impartial or there may be removal or departmental proceedings against them,” said the official.
The EC also warned them of departmental proceedings if proper actions are not taken, the official added. The EC official said Jain asked IPS officials why hoardings and cutouts were still not removed and ordered them to do so. The poll body also asked about preventive arrests made so far and plans to ensure law and order.
“The EC warned the Cooch Behar DM against impartiality. The District Election Officer of North Kolkata was asked why all hoardings and political posters have not yet been removed from public properties or their consent letters collected,” said the official. A participant of the meeting, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the EC wasn’t satisfied by the work and planning of Diamond Harbour. It was mentioned during the meeting that the EC received the maximum number of complaints from Diamond Harbour.
“SP Diamond Harbour was warned by EC that maximum complaints of impartiality were against officers of his districts,” said the source.
The EC also referred to a recent incident in Raichak when Baisakhi Banerjee, a friend of former Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee, was harassed by “goons” after a rumour spread about her joining BJP. She had then submitted a written complaint to the EC over the matter.
Meanwhile, sources claimed that the entire process of filing nominations will be videographed.