After initial defiance, Mamata agrees to comply with transfer order

Kolkata, April 8: After remaining defiant, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Tuesday agreed to the Election Commission’s order of transferring of eight government officials as a “constitutional obligation”.

Terming the order “political vendetta”, Banerjee said was accepting the order as a constitutional obligation but asserted that the officers will be reinstated to their original areas after the polls.

“We are not accepting it as the EC’s order… rather accepting it as a constitutional obligation. For the time being we are accepting the removal of the officers but once the polls are over they will be reinstated to their original places,” Banerjee told media persons in Durgapur in Burdwan district hours after the panel directed the state government to comply with its order by 10 am Wednesday.

The poll panel Monday had directed the state government to transfer eight officials, including five district police chiefs and a district magistrate. But Banerjee, reacting angrily, refused to comply saying she will “not remove a single officer even she had to go to jail for that”.

Banerjee also said she will write to poll panel Wednesday clarifying that the panel did not seek the state government’s opinion before taking the decision.

She also warned that in case of any untoward incident, the responsibility will be on the EC.

“Bengal is very sensitive, it is the gateway to North East and Nepal and here Maoists, KLO, ISI are active. Even central agencies recently held a meeting for that. If something untoward happens then the responsibility solely will rest on EC and those parties who are behind this.

“The officers who have been transferred, their integrity has not been questioned. If their integrity has not been questioned, then why are they being removed? Who are you working for? Who is behind this,” she questioned.

“It is very clear, it’s a political vendetta. I must also clarify that they cannot interfere into our law and order. If something happens then the Congress, BJP and the CPI-M who are behind this will have to give answers,” she asserted.

The Trinamool Congress chief also expressed her anguish over the schedule of the polls in the state and accused the Congress of “using central agencies to needle her government”.