Wednesday, April 09, 2014

EC-Mamata Row: Who are the IAS, IPS officers Banerjee agrees to transfer, “only for time being”?

THERE is nothing unusual in Election Commission’s transfer-dictate to bureaucrats in states. But West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s  threatening on Monday not to follow the EC order would have created an unprecedented constitutional crisis which was averted only after Didi blinked on the next day and agreed to follow the poll panel’s order. Her face-saver: transfers would be made "only for the time being”. First, here are the names of the bureaucrats who Banerjee had initially refused to…
transfer. They include North 24 Parganas district magistrate Sanjay Bansal (2004 batch IAS), his junior and South 24 Parganas’ additional district magistrate (ADM) Alokesh Prasad Roy and West Midnapore’s ADM Arindam Dutta. Among the police officers who were transferred for ‘bias’ towards the ruling party were Malda’s SP Rajesh Yadav, West Midnapore’s SP Bharati Ghosh, Murshidabad’s SP Humayun Kabir, Burdwan’s SP SMH Meerza. Another superintendent of police Alok Rajoria of Birbhum was, however, transferred on a routine manner as there were no charges against him.
West Bengal chief secretary Sanjay Mitra reportedly wrote a letter to Chief Election Commissioner urging him to reconsider the transfer order of the officials. According to reports, the chief secretary had objected to the EC’s transfer order, as transfers were made and their replacements were announced without consulting the state government.
On Monday, chief minister Banerjee defied the EC’s order saying: “I will not remove a single officer”.
But according to rules, the government officials can be transferred by the Election Commission till the results are declared. It’s done mainly to neutralize the advantages that the ruling party in a state may get if it uses the government machinery for the political purposes.
The EC on Tuesday gave an ultimatum to the West Bengal government saying that if the state government does not comply with the transfer order, it will be forced either to postpone or cancel the elections in the state.
Within hours, Banerjee blinked saying that the officers would be transferred only to be brought back after the poll. She however questioned the EC saying how a constitutional body can engage in politics and control a democratically elected body.

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