Kolkata, April 8 :
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee continued her defiance of the Election Commission’s order for transfer of eight officials from poll duty even as the poll panel Tuesday dismissed the appeal of the state government to reconsider its directive.
Sticking to its stand, the commission has asked the Banerjee government to comply, by 10 a.m. Wednesday, with its directive of transferring eight officials, including five district police chiefs and a district magistrate.
“The state government had sought clarification and reconsideration on the orders regarding the shuffling. After reconsidering, we have iterated that the list that was issued April 7 has to be complied with by 10 a.m. Wednesday,” EC director Dhirendra Ojha told IANS over the phone.
Citing administrative concerns, Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra earlier in the day had written to the poll panel urging it reconsider its decision.
Reacting strongly to the order of the transfer, Banerjee Monday had refused to comply with it and continued her defiance the second day.
“There is a problem if somebody threatens me, or compels me. I cannot be knowingly made to do something which is unjust. If the transfer were genuine, there was no problem but transferring officers to allow Congress to win is not acceptable,” Banerjee said Tuesday during a party rally in Barjora in Bankura district.
“We are seeing how a party in Delhi, in connivance with a few others, is trying to impose its whims. But what it doesn’t realise that Trinamool Congress, unlike others will never bow down,” she asserted.
In another rally in Kotshila in Purulia district, Banerjee accused the poll panel of being “biased” and said the transfer of the officers was a plan by the rival parties to create trouble in the state especially in Junglemahal- the Maoist affected areas in the state.
Meanwhile the opposition has lambasted Banerjee for her outburst against the poll panel and accused her of defying the constitution.
If state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rahul Sinha urged the EC to show cause Banerjee, his Congress counterpart Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury demanded the Trinamool supremo’s arrest for defying the constitution.
“I feel Mamata Banerjee should be immediately arrested and sent to jail for making fun of constitutional norms. She is reacting in this way because her plans to unleash terror have been foiled by the EC,” said Chowdhury.
Left Front chairman Biman Bose said: “This is unprecedented, nothing like this has been heard before. Is it her ego that is preventing her from complying with the law? If her defiance leads to a constitutional crisis in the state, she will be the only person to be blamed.”