Election Commission effects widespread transfers ahead of Jhargram polls.
As Election Commission of India (ECI) transferred five senior officers including District Magistrate of Jhargram on Thursday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said even if all the officers of the State were transferred, the victory of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) could be prevented. Four seats in the district go to the polls on March 27.
Among the officers transferred by the ECI is District Election Officer Jhargram Ayesha Rani. She has been replaced by Joyeshi Dasgupta as District Election Officer DEO Jhargram.
“The BJP is interfering in functioning of Election Commission of India. ECI has become like a cousin of the BJP,” Ms. Banerjee said addressing a public meeting at Dantan.
Question have been being raised about the reshuffle so close to elections.
The ECI has transferred four police officers including Additional Director General of Police, West Zone. Rajesh Kumar has appointed as the new ADG police West Bengal. The other officers transferred are SP Cooch Behar and S P Diamond Harbour. In Kolkata Police Deputy Commissioner of Police, South Sudheer Kumar Neelakantam has been replaced by Akash Magharia.
According to to the ECI, the officers transferred shall not be posted in election related posts till the completion of elections. The transfers come a day after the ECI directed that the post of State Security Advisor will be kept in abeyance till the elections. The Chief Minister had created the post of State Security Observer and appointed retired Director General of Police to the post.
Ms. Banerjee also accused the BJP of fielding a new political party to cut into the minority votes. Though she did not name any political party, Ms Banerjee said, “A new political outfit has been launched in the state at the behest of the BJP to grab a share of the minority votes and help the saffron party. Please don’t vote for its candidates.”
The TMC chief’s reference is to the Indian Secular Front (ISF) which is contesting the polls in alliance with the Left parties and Congress. The party has fielded a number of candidates in South 24 Parganas.
Two TMC supporters killed
Clashes between supporters of TMC and ISF have been reported in South 24 Parganas district. A Trinamool Congress worker was killed in Baruipur area when clashes broke out with the Samyukta Morcha on Thursday. Supporters of ISF also sustained injuries.
Another TMC supporter was killed in a crude bomb blast at Andal Paschim Bardhaman district. According to reports bombs kept inside a house exploded leading to death of a 40-year-old man.