Updated: March 28, 2019 5:54:07 am
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday showed a picture of former DG BSF K K Sharma with leaders of an RSS-backed outfit and a BJP candidate, stating that the TMC will write to ECI and lodge a protest against his appointment as a special central police observer for Bengal.
A day earlier, the Election Commission appointed retired DG BSF K K Sharma as special central police observer for West Bengal and Jharkhand for the Lok Sabha polls. Last year, Sharma had courted controversy after he had attended an RSS-backed NGO’s event in uniform in Kolkata. Click here for more election news
“This is the picture of K K Sharma in uniform with BJP and RSS leaders. Sitting beside him is Rantideb Sengupta (who is now a BJP candidate). Is this democracy? My humble submission to ECI is that the Home Ministry is misleading it. How can an RSS man be appointed as the central police observer. Moreover, he is retired. How can a retired officer command police officers on duty,” Mamata said while holding the picture.
“We are writing a letter to the ECI regarding this,” she added.
After witnessing massive violence in the state panchayat polls last year, the BJP had demanded the deployment of a special police observer for West Bengal to monitor the movement of the central paramilitary force during the elections.
The TMC criticised the BJP for sending what it alleged was a false report on law and order situation in the state to Election Commission of India (ECI). The TMC alleged that the BJP move was meant to stretch the Lok Sabha polls in the state.
Despite several attempts, Sharma could not be contacted.
“Every year we invite BSF officers to deliver a lecture on awareness in the border areas and how common people can help the BSF in preventing illegal activities. Likewise, last year, the DG BSF came in a symposium and delivered a lecture. This has been going on for years. What is wrong in it? We are a non-government organisation and work for the development in border areas,” Jagannath Senapati, West Bengal organising secretary for Seemanta Chetana Mancha, told The Indian Express.
Last February, Sharma attended a conference on border issues, which was organised in Kolkata by RSS-affiliated Seemanta Chetana Mancha. Sharma was present on the last day of the two-day conference that saw 300 delegates from Assam, Tripura and West Bengal.