Kolkata, April 23 (IANS) The West Bengal government has again been compelled to carry out the Election Commission directive to remove 23 officials from election duty, while the chief minister continued to cry foul and allege conspiracy by the Congress, an official said Wednesday.
According to Amit Roy Chowdhury, officer on special duty with the chief electoral officer's office here, seven inspectors-in-charge (IC), 13 officers-in-charge (OC) and three block development officers were Wednesday shifted to non-election, non-field posts.
"The order from EC Tuesday night sought the removal with immediate effect (by 11 a.m. Wednesday). We have received the compliance report regarding the orders," said Chowdhury.
Incidentally, the transfers effected just a day ahead of the second phase of balloting in the state come after the EC-appointed special observer, Sudhir Kumar Rakesh, warned of action if the district administration filed incorrect report on compliance.
Reacting angrily to the transfers, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at a public rally in Narayangarh of West Midnapore district termed the decision the "handiwork of some CPI-M and Congress leaders who draw up the transfer list at the Delhi residence of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel".
"A few leaders from the Congress and CPI-M, sitting at Ahmed Patel's house in Delhi are preparing a list of which DM, SP or BDO will be changed. but what they don't realise is the new officers who will come are also our people. They won't come from Delhi," she said.
"Isn't the transfer of SPs and DMs enough, that you are now changing the OCs? Will the police go and vote for you?" Banerjee said at another rally.
The panel earlier in the month compelled the Banerjee government to transfer eight officials, including five district police chiefs and one district magistrate, earning her wrath. She had publicly vowed to avenge the "insult" albeit through ballots.
Though forced to remove the officers, Banerjee declared that the transferred officers will revert to their original posts once the polls are over and subsequently a notification was also issued to the effect.
The officers who were transferred Wednesday are also likely to be brought back to the original posts after the elections.