EC removes 34 officials in poll-bound West Bengal

Kolkata: The Election Commission today removed 34 officials including a District Magistrate (DM) and four Superintendents of Police (SPs) in the poll-bound West Bengal, following complaints from opposition parties.

“I have received a communication from the Election Commission, which asked to remove 34 officials with immediate effect,” Chief Secretary Basudeb Banerjee told PTI.

The 34 officials are one DM, four SPs, one SDO (Sub-Divisional Officer), two SDPOs (Sub-Divisional Police Officer), two DEOs (District Election Officer) in Kolkata South and North, and 24 ICs (Inspector In-Charge), Banerjee said.

Hooghly District Magistrate Sanjay Bansal, Burdwan SP Kunal Agarwal, Malda SP Prasum Bandyopadhyay, Nadia SP Bhaskar Mukherjee and South Dinajpur SP Arnab Ghosh were among the officials the EC has asked to be removed.

Mukta Arya has been asked to take over as the new DM of Hooghly district.

Those who would replace the four SPs were Gourav Sharma in Burdwan, Waqar Raja in Malda, Sisram Jhajhoria in Nadia and Rashid Munir Khan in South Dinajpur district.

Regarding the replacement of other officials, the Chief Secretary said a panel would be sent to the Election Commission to finalise their selection.

The transfer order came a couple of days after the full Election Commission, led by Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi, had visited the city and interacted with political leaders when opposition parties had complained against these officials.