The Election Commission on Tuesday replaced the police chief in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district before the Lok Sabha polls on April 11, PTI reported. The poll panel’s decision to replace Abhishek Gupta with Amit Kumar Singh drew criticism from the Trinamool Congress-led state government.
The commission has disallowed Gupta from participating in any election-related duty. A notification described the move as a step of preparedness for the polling.
On Tuesday, Trinamool Congress’s Secretary General Partha Chatterjee raised doubts about the commission’s impartiality. “The Bharatiya Janata Party is trying to convert the Election Commission into its extended party office,” Chatterjee said. “Why is the EC acting on behalf of the BJP? Is it democracy?”
Chatterjee claimed that Bharatiya Janata Party leader Mukul Roy had threatened the Cooch Behar police chief during Modi’s visit on April 7.
The announcement follows the poll panel’s decision to transfer four police officials in the state, including Kolkata Commissioner Anuj Sharma, last week. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had accused the poll panel of following the Centre’s orders.
The Election Commission, however, refuted the allegations and said that the decision was based on “cumulative feedback” from its officials.