The Election Commission on Saturday said that it has put on hold the transfer of 18 police officers in Assam, in view of the Model Code of Conduct imposed in the state. The Assam government had ordered the transfer of these officers on February 26 – the same day the commission announced poll dates for fours states, and the Union Territory of Puducherry.

“It has come to the notice of Commission that Govt. of Assam has, on 26th February 2021, ordered the transfer of 12 IPS [Indian Police Service] and 6 APS [Assam Police Service] officers,” the poll body said in a press note. “The Commission has therefore decided to keep the transfer/posting of these police officers in abeyance till further orders.”

On Friday, the Election Commission announced that the 126-member Assam Assembly will go to polls in three phases on March 27, April 1, and April 6. The results will be out on May 2.

Meanwhile, in another poll-bound state, West Bengal, the election body replaced a top police officer in charge of law and order, NDTV reported. On Saturday, Jawed Shamim, Additional Director-General (Law & Order) of West Bengal Police was made the head of the fire services department, while Jag Mohan, who was Director-General (Fire Services), replaced him.

“Both are very good officers but we sense a political motive could be behind the move,” Trinamool MP Saugata Roy said, reacting to the reshuffle.

Elections will be held in as many as eight phases in West Bengal – March 27, April 1, April 6, April 10, April 17, April 22, April 26 and April 29. The results will be declared along with other states on May 2.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has questioned the poll body’s move to hold elections in eight phases, suggesting that the Centre was misusing its powers to influence the Election Commission.