Hitting out at the Centre, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday that its order, seeking the deputation of three senior police officers from the state, is a blatant misuse of power and her government would not cow down before "expansionist" and "undemocratic" forces.
In a series of tweets, Banerjee said that it was a deliberate attempt by the Centre to encroach upon the state's jurisdiction and demoralise the serving officers in West Bengal.
"This move, particularly before the elections is against the basic tenets of the federal structure. It's unconstitutional & completely unacceptable!" she said.
The Union Home Ministry has asked the West Bengal government to immediately release the IPS officers for central deputation for their alleged dereliction of duties, following the attack on the convoy of BJP president JP Nadda.
"GoI's (Government of India) order of central deputation for the 3 serving IPS officers of West Bengal despite the State's objection is a colourable exercise of power and blatant misuse of emergency provision of IPS Cadre Rule 1954," Banerjee tweeted.
The Home Ministry said that as per the IPS cadre rules, the Centre prevails over the state in case of a dispute.
"We wouldnt allow this brazen attempt by the Centre to control the State machinery by proxy! West Bengal is not going to cow-down in front of expansionist & undemocratic forces," the chief minister tweeted.
Banerjee's statement came within minutes of information about a letter, sent by the Home Ministry to the chief secretary of West Bengal, was made public.
The Centre asked the West Bengal government to immediately relieve the three IPS officers for joining the central deputation, saying all of them were already given new assignments, according to officials.
Bholanath Pandey has been appointed as SP in the Bureau of Police Research and Development, PraveenTripathi as DIG in the Sashastra Seema Bal and Rajeev Mishra as IG in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, they said.
A copy of the letter has also been sent to the West Bengal's director-general of police.