Kolkata: The Election Commission is scrutinising the images and tapes of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s speech at a public rally, alleging that the transfer list of 23 officials was drawn up the at the Delhi residence of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel, an official said Thursday.
The state government was compelled to carry out the Election Commission’s directive to remove 23 officials from election duty Wednesday, while the chief minister continued to cry foul and allege conspiracy by the Congress.
As many as seven inspectors-in-charge, 13 officers-in-charge and three block development officers were shifted to non-election, non-field posts.
Reacting angrily, Banerjee, at a public rally in Narayangarh in the state’s West Midnapore district, termed the decision the “handiwork of some CPI-M and Congress leaders who drew up the transfer list at the Delhi residence of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel”.
Chief electoral officer Sunil Gupta said” “The available information and images have been sent to the commission in Delhi.”
Banerjee had said: “A few leaders from the Congress and CPI-M, sitting at Ahmed Patel’s house in Delhi are preparing a list of which DM, SP or BDO will be changed. but what they don’t realise is the new officers who will come are also our people. They won’t come from Delhi.”
“Isn’t the transfer of SPs and DMs enough, that you are now changing the OCs? Will the police go and vote for you?” Banerjee said at another rally.
The panel earlier in the month compelled the Banerjee government to transfer eight officials, including five district police chiefs and one district magistrate, earning her wrath. She had publicly vowed to avenge the “insult” albeit through ballots.
Though forced to remove the officers, Banerjee declared that the transferred officers will revert to their original posts once the polls are over and subsequently a notification was also issued to the effect.
Meanwhile, the Commission is verifying reports about Bengali band singer Soumitra Roy, a Trinamool Congress candidate from Malda North who allegedly ferried voters from their residences to poll booths in the guise of a rickshaw-puller during Thursday’s poll.
There were reports Thursday of crude bombs being hurled close to a polling booth in Kathalberia under Kaliachak police station of Malda district. However, Gupta denied receiving any such complaints.