Mamata relents; agrees to EC directive on transfer of officers

Mamata relents; agrees to EC directive on transfer of officers

Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee today relented and agreed to appoint five new officers as directed by the Election Commission, moving away from a path of confrontation as the poll panel put its foot down.

"I will appoint the five officers as directed by the Election Commission. I have no objection," Banerjee said at a hurriedly-called press conference here.

"It will rather be good for me, I have good contact with all the officers in my state," Banerjee said.

Banerjee agreed to transfer SPs of four districts and a district magistrate as directed by the Commission following complaints against them, though she had launched a scathing attack on the EC yesterday and had even threatened to disobey the order and get jailed as consequence.

She, however, continued with her criticism of the Election Commission over the decision, saying, "I respect the Election Commission, but they are playing a political game. It is their political vendetta." 

Banerjee alleged such action on the part of the Election Commission was visible only in the states ruled by regional parties like West Bengal.

"How many similar actions have it taken in Gujarat, Rajasthan or Maharashtra?" she questioned, wondering, "why regional parties are being targeted." She said the officers who were ordered to be transferred were competent and their integrity was not in question.
"The officers were transferred without consulting the state government. No opinion was even sought as to which officer has the competence in which district," Banerjee said."The EC is totally misleading in this regard," she said.

Banerjee said the state government would, however, send a letter again tomorrow to the poll panel, but did not elaborate.

Throwing her weight behind the transferred officers, she said the SPs and the DM who had been transferred would be brought back to their original position with "the highest honour" after the elections were over.

After the EC rejected the state's request to reconsider its decision and gave it time till 10 am tomorrow to comply, the state Chief Secretary was stated to have sent a note to the Chief Minister, who is electioneering in the districts, suggesting that the EC's directive be accepted.

Banerjee asserted that Trinamool Congress would win all the 42 seats in West Bengal.

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