The Election Commission of India on Tuesday said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was trying to “belittle” the institution with innuendos that it was acting at the behest of the Bharatiya Janata Party, PTI reported.

While addressing a rally at Chatna in Bankura district, Banerjee had accused Union Home Minister Amit Shah of “hatching a conspiracy” to harass Trinamool Congress leaders ahead of the Assembly polls. The chief minister asked if the Election Commission was taking instructions from him, adding that she would stage a protest outside the poll panel’s office if the saffron party continued to interfere in its functioning.

Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain wrote a sharp letter to Banerjee after her comments. “Commission maintains the position that they would not like to keep on being put in the dock for alleged proximity to any political entity,” it said. “However, if the chief minister persists in creating and attempting to perpetuate this myth for reasons best known to her, it is singularly unfortunate, and it is only for her to adjudge as to why she is doing so.”

Responding to Banerjee’s allegation that the BJP was plotting to kill her, Jain said a new officer has already been posted to head her security detail. On Sunday, the poll panel had suspended Banerjee’s chief security officer Vivek Sahay for the security lapse that led to her sustaining injuries during a campaign in Nandigram on March 10. However, Banerjee had requested the poll body to reinstate Sahay.

“It would be noted that keeping the security sensitivities of your person as chief minister and a Z+ class protectee commission authorised the chief secretary to immediately appoint a Director Security in consultation with the DGP [Director General of Police], which as stated earlier was done yesterday,” Jain said in his letter. “It is a reasonable presumption that chief secretary, in consultation with DGP West Bengal, has posted Gyanwant Singh, IPS as director security.”

Voting for the 294-seat West Bengal Assembly will be held in eight phases from March 27 to April 29. The results will be announced on May 2.