West Bengal Assembly elections | Attempt to belittle institution, EC says in response to Mamata

The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday said in response to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora that the EC would not like to be kept in the dock for “alleged proximity to any political entity” and that if the CM persisted in perpetuating this myth, it was unfortunate.

The letter to Ms. Banerjee by Deputy Election Commissioner in-charge of West Bengal Sudeep Jain in response to her letter on Sunday noted that the Commission had met representatives of the All-India Trinamool Congress on four occasions in Delhi and Kolkata.

“…if it is stated by Hon’ble CM that the Commission should meet political parties, it is only an attempt to belittle the institution of Commission with repeated innuendos and averments. Commission maintains the position that they would not like to keep on being put in the dock for alleged proximity to any political entity, etc. However, if Hon’ble CM persists in creating and attempting to perpetuate this myth for reasons best known to her, it is singularly unfortunate, and it is only for Hon’ble CM to adjudge as to why she is doing so,” Mr. Jain wrote.

Last week, Ms. Banerjee was injured while campaigning for the ongoing Assembly elections in Nandigram. The EC had concluded that the then-Director Security Vivek Sahay had failed to stick to the approved route plan; preventing frequent changes in the plan; persuading the Z+ protectee, that is Ms. Banerjee, to travel in a bullet-proof car; and persuading her from removing the seat belt, opening the door and standing on the footboard of the moving car, the letter said.

It added that the Chief Secretary, in consultation with the DGP, had posted IPS officer Gyanwant Singh in place of Mr. Sahay.

“Chief Secretary would have consulted you/got approval on file being Hon’ble Chief Minister and Home Minister before issuing the orders of posting Shri Gyanwant Singh. If the Government of West Bengal and you feel sanguine of appointment of Director Security, the Commission has already accepted this arrangement,” the letter stated.

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