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Mamata Vs Centre Battle Takes a New Turn. EC Shunts West Bengal DGP Ahead of Assembly Polls

File photo of Bengal CM and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee. (PTI/File Photo)

File photo of Bengal CM and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee. (PTI/File Photo)

The EC also directed that Virendra not be given any post, directly or indirectly, related to the conduct of the upcoming assembly elections.

The Election Commission on Tuesday ordered the removal of Virendra as the Director-General of Police of poll-bound West Bengal with immediate effect and appointed 1987 batch-IPS officer P Nirajnayan in his place.

The EC also directed that Virendra not be given any post, directly or indirectly, related to the conduct of the upcoming assembly elections. The decision was taken after reviewing the poll preparedness in the state.

The election body sent a letter to Bengal chief secretary which stated: “I am directed to refer to the subject cited and to state that after reviewing the situation of poll preparedness in the state of West Bengal today, the Commission has decided following transfer/posting in the state: P Nirajnayan, IPS (RR-1987) be posted as Director General & IGP of West Bengal in place of Shri Virendra, IPS with immediate effect. Virendra, IPS (RR- 1985) should not be given any post which directly or indirectly relates to conduct of the election. Compliance of Commission’s order may be done immediately. Kindly inform the Commission about the compliance latest by 10 am tomorrow.”

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In December last year, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had refused to send the state’s chief secretary and police chief to New Delhi deterring from compliance with Union Home Ministry’s summons after an attack on Bharatiya Janata Party chief JP Nadda’s convoy in West Bengal’s Diamond Harbour.

The MHA had summoned Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay and DGP Virendra asking them to present themselves on December 14 for an explanation on the law and order situation in the state, following Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar’s report on the attack on Nadda’s convoy.

Bandopadhyay however, wrote to Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, saying he has been directed to request to “dispense with the presence of the state officials” in the meeting convened on December 14.

The officers the Centre had sought on central deputation were Rajeev Mishra (Additional Director General, South Bengal), Praveen Tripathi (Deputy Inspector General, Presidency Range) and Bholanath Pandey (SP, Diamond Harbour).

The upcoming assembly elections in the state will be eight phases. The first phase will be conducted on March 27 and the last on April 29. Results will be announced on May 2.