New Delhi, Mar 11: The Election Commission on Thursday rejected the allegations of West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress in its representation to the state CEO regarding injuries to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, saying the poll panel has not taken over the law and order machinery in the name of conducting elections in the state.
The EC said it is rather “unfortunate” that the memorandum submitted by Trinamool leaders to the West Bengal CEO and then forwarded by the latter to the poll panel is “full of insinuations and averments, which in fact questions the very basis of creation and functioning of the election body”.
It said while the “unfortunate incident (the alleged attack on Banerjee) needs to be inquired into with promptitude and dispatch”, it is “completely incorrect” to state that the EC has taken over law and order machinery in the name of conducting elections and appropriated the whole governance structure.
“This virtually tantamounts to undermine the very foundation and fabric of the Constitution of India,” it said.
The poll panel said it does not appropriate day to day governance of any state, including West Bengal, which keeps on functioning as per extant rules of business and distribution of work approved by the Chief Minister.
“It looks undignified to even respond to allegations of all this being done at behest of a particular party.”
The EC also insisted that the DGP was not removed summarily and without application of mind. “It was outcome of recommendation given by special observers Ajay Nayak and Vivek Dubey.”
It said when it learnt of the unfortunate incident from media on Wednesday, a report was immediately sought from Chief Secretary and both special observers within 48 hours.
“Till such time reports are available, it is not possible to draw any empirical conclusion, let alone link it to DGP’s removal. Even ADG (Law and Order) was changed after considered application of mind by special observers,” it said, adding that it shall await report of the Chief Secretary and special observers and share contents with all stakeholders, including the West Bengal government.
Noting that the life and security of the Chief Minister and Home Minister needs to be duly protected by all tasked with the maintenance of law and order machinery of West Bengal, the EC, however, said that as elections have 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.
The Trinamool claimed that the Election Commission could not shun responsibility as it is in charge of law and order situation in poll-bound West Bengal. The party also alleged a “deep-rooted conspiracy to take the life” of their chief and linked it to the abrupt removal of the state police chief a day before by the Election Commission.
Calling it a “gruesome attack”, the party contended that an attempt was made on her life “within 24 hours of the removal of the Bengal police chief” by the Election Commission without the state government being consulted.
Banerjee is being treated at a hospital with injuries to her neck, arm and leg. The Trinamool alleged that she was attacked at Nandigram after she filed her nomination papers. The Chief Minister was at a crowded market, greeting people from the footboard of her car when she was apparently pushed and her leg was crushed against the vehicle, it said.