West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday wrote to the Election Commission against its decision to transfer four police officials including Kolkata Commissioner Anuj Sharma, PTI reported. In a letter accessed by the news agency, she accused the poll panel of unfairly following the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre’s orders.
Banerjee described the decision as unfortunate, “highly arbitrary, motivated and biased”, and demanded that the Election Commission reconsider the transfer order. “Should there be any deterioration in the law order situation of the state, would the Commission take responsibility?” the PTI quoted from the letter.
The chief minister also asked the poll panel to find out who ordered the transfer of the police officials. Banerjee claimed that the officials were told about their transfer soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a BJP candidate claimed that the law and order situation was deteriorating in West Bengal.
Earlier on Saturday, Banerjee, at a rally in Kachini in north Bengal, claimed the officers were transferred at the behest of the BJP. “If the BJP thinks that by transferring my officers they would make me weak, they are mistaken,” she said, according to the Hindustan Times. “Those who have replaced these officers are also my officers. They cannot put me down so easily. The more you try to harm me, the stronger I will become.”
On Friday, the Election Commission had replaced Sharma with Rajesh Kumar, who was the additional director general of police, Pollution Control Board, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Sharma was appointed Kolkata police chief in February, taking over from Rajeev Kumar who was transferred to the Crime Investigation Department. The Central Bureau of Investigation had interrogated Rajeev Kumar in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam in February.
The poll body had also appointed Natarajan Ramesh Babu commissioner of Bidhannagar Police, replacing Gyanwant Singh. The Bharatiya Janata Party had lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against Singh for alleged police interference when Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee’s wife was allegedly found carrying gold at the Kolkata airport.