Kolkata: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday ordered the terminaton of Director General of Police, Virendra, of poll-bound state, West Bengal following an adverse report, and appointed P Nirajnayan in his place.
In a directive to the state chief secretary, the EC asked to replace Virendra with P Nirajnayan, an IPS officer of the 1987 batch and that Virendra “should not be given any post which directly or indirectly relates to conduct of election”.
The decision was taken after reviewing the poll preparedness in the state.
the directive further read that a compliance of the commission’s order may be done immediately and the report should be shared with the ECI by 10 am on Wednesday.
“Kindly inform the commission about the compliance latest by 10.00 am tomorrow (Wednesday),” the letter said.
According to sources in ECI, the decision was taken based on the inputs of special observer in the poll-bound state – Ajay V Nayak and special police observer Vivek Dubey. Nayak, a 1984-batch IAS officer, is the former chief electoral officer of Bihar. Dubey, a 1981-batch officer from Andhra Pradesh, was also posted as the special police observer to West Bengal during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Last month too, the poll panel had removed ADG (Law and Order) Jawed Shamim and replaced him with Jag Mohan.
Reacting to Tuesday’s development, senior Trinamool Congress leader and party MP Sougata Roy accused the ECI of working at the BJP’s behest. “But this will not have any impact on our electoral prospects,” he said.
However BJP welcomed the decision, saying, “The EC has taken a decision to ensure free, fair and peaceful polls and stop the bloodshed,” said state party spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya.
The state is schedule to go into eight-phase assembly elections from March 27 till April 29. The results will be declared on May 2.