Insinuations and averments: EC Refutes TMC’s Allegations On Mamata ‘attack’  Says ‘state Responsible For Law & Order’

Insinuations and averments: EC Refutes TMC’s Allegations On Mamata ‘attack’ Says ‘state Responsible For Law & Order’

Hummingbird News Desk

KOLKATA, 11 MARCH: The Election Commission on Thursday issued a “strongly-worded” reply to the Trinamul Congress’ letter over the alleged attack on West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram.

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A day after Mamata sustained injuries while campaigning in Nandigram, the TMC had written to the EC, criticising it for “failing to provide proper security” to West Bengal chief minister.

Claiming that the attack was a “deep-rooted conspiracy to take the life of the TMC chief”, party leaders had said that anti-social elements have been “mobilised from the neighbouring states by the BJP in Nandigram” to unleash violence.

However, the EC refuted the statements made in the letter, and said that it seems “undignified to even respond” to allegations that the poll panel is doing things in the state at the behest of a “particular party”.

The EC said that it needs to be stated at the outset that injuries sustained by Mamata at Nandigram “is indeed an unfortunate incident and deserves to be inquired into with promptitude and dispatch”.

“Having said that, it is rather unfortunate that the memorandum in question is full of insinuations and averments, which, in fact, questions the very basis of creation and functioning of (the) Election Commission,” the letter said.

It is completely incorrect to suggest that the Election Commission has taken over the law and order machinery in the state in the name of conducting elections and appropriated the whole governance structure, the poll panel said.

“This virtually tantamount to undermine the very foundation of the Constitution of India, the most sacrosanct document in democratic polity. The Commission does not appropriate or take over the day-to-day governance of any state including West Bengal…,” it noted.

The EC also addressed the party’s accusations over the removal of West Bengal Director General of Police Virendra.

TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee had said, “The law and order situation in Bengal was good. But, after the announcement of elections, law and order become the responsibility of the EC. The EC removed (the) DGP of the state police, and the very next day she was attacked.”

The poll panel said that Virendra was not removed summarily and without any application of mind.

“It was the outcome of the recommendation given by Special Observers Ajay Nayak and Vivek Dube. In fact, yesterday also when the Commission became aware of the unfortunate incident from the electronic media, report was immediately sought from the Chief Secretary, West Bengal and from both the Special Observers, at present in West Bengal, within 48 hours…. Till such time the reports are available to the Commission it will not be possible to draw any empirical conclusion let alone start linking it to the removal of earlier DGP Virendra,” it said, adding that till the reports come, it is not possible to draw any conclusion.

“An FIR has already been lodged by the relevant authorities in West Bengal to investigate the matter at local level. Similarly, ADG (Law & Order) was also changed after considered application of mind by the Special Observers. When the elections have already been announced, it is not legally necessary or mandatory to consult the State Government because these are normally temporary measures for the period of elections. There is no point in further commenting on the repeated insinuations that all this is being done at the behest of any other party. Commission shall await the report of the CS as well as the Special Observers and share the contents with all stakeholders, including Government of West Bengal,” its letter stated.

The TMC, in its complaint in Kolkata, had said: “Within 24 hours of the removal of the erstwhile DGP, an attempt on Ms Mamata Banerjee’s life was made in Nandigram this evening. She was on the campaign trail and filed her nomination this afternoon. At the time of the assault, neither the SP of Police nor the local police was present to give her security cover, even though she is a Z plus protectee. Only her personal security officers were with her.”

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