Kolkata, April 8:
The Election Commission of India Tuesday dismissed the appeal of the West Bengal state government to reconsider the poll panel’s directive regarding removal of eight officers from poll duty.
“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.
The poll panel Monday ordered the transfer of eight state officials, including five district police chiefs and one district magistrate, asking the state government to implement the order by Tuesday.
However, a defiant Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee refused to carry out the instruction and said she was even prepared to go to jail.
Earlier in the day, Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra had written to the EC urging it to reconsider the order.
The commission’s order, which came a day after the full bench of the poll panel held wide consultations with state officials and political parties, was sent to the state chief secretary Monday.
The superintendents of police – in charge of West Midnapore, Burdwan, Birbhum, Malda and North 24 Parganas districts – were involved in the reshuffle along with the district magistrate of North 24 Parganas.
Seven of the officials, including two additional district magistrates, removed from their post during the day, have been relieved from poll duty, while Birbhum Superintendent of Police Alok Rajoria was shifted to the vacant post of superintendent of police of Jhargram district.