West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday wrote to the Election Commission (EC) to protest against its decision to transfer four senior police officers, and accused the poll body of acting “at the behest of the BJP”.
“I strongly feel that the EC plays a neutral role to save democracy in India. But, it is very unfortunate that I have to write this letter today to raise strong protest against the transfer order dated 5th April, 2019 issued by the Election Commission of India by way of removing four senior officers from their existing positions. The decision of the Commission is 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,” Mamata wrote in her letter.
The CM’s statement came a day after the EC removed four officers of West Bengal from election duty. Sources said the EC took the decision based on reports filed by Special Police Observer for West Bengal, Vivek Dubey.
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Criticising the EC for its move, Mamata questioned if the poll panel was working to appease the ruling BJP at the Centre. “Few days back, it was in the press statements of BJP leaders making comments that senior officers of the state in the police administration would soon be replaced by the EC… Just soon thereafter the order of the Commission on removal of officers was received. This flow of events gives rise to strong doubts whether the Commission is functioning as per its Constitutional mandate of conducting free and fair elections or working in a manner to appease the ruling BJP at the Centre,” she wrote.
Later, speaking at a rally in Alipurduar district, the CM criticised the BJP for choosing John Barla as a candidate from the Alipurduar constituency, describing him as a “cause of trouble”.
“At the time of election, the BJP comes here with sacks full of money to distribute and seek votes. Do not listen to them. Who is John Barla? He is the person who was the cause of trouble — from triggering riots to clashes between communities. The BJP could not find a better candidate. But we will not allow him to win. We will not vote for him. We will not vote for a party that causes riots and creates trouble,” Mamata said.
“Do not sell your votes to these people. Do not be misled. Vote for Trinamool and live like proper human beings…” she said.