Exchange of letters between EC and Mamata Banerjee after the latter requested to cancel the order of suspension for chief minister’s director security

KOLKATA 16 MARCH: Just two days after the Election Commission of India (ECI) ordered the suspension of the Bengal CM’s security officer and the DM and SP of Nandigram in West Bengal for the recent incident, the Chief Minister writes to the poll body urging it to cancel the order.  In her two-page letter, the Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee seeks suspension of EC’s order and asks the electoral body to reinstate her security chief Vivek Sahay. She feels that transferring responsibilities to a different person especially at the time of hectic campaigning would only create more chaos. Also, she thinks it will be a detrimental step for her personal security. 

Moreover, in her letter to the EC, Banerjee maintained that this move would only jeopardise her security instead of strengthening it. Also, Didi appealed to the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora to also pay heed to all the grievances of all political parties and not be guided by any particular dispensation. She also sought the CEC’s personal intervention in the matter.

According to Mamata, the incident was not an accident. But, an attack on her and the removal of the security officer would only create a vacuum in her security arrangements. 

Mainly, the EC had ordered the suspension of Vivek Sahay, director, Security among others. This was only after the poll authority reached the conclusion that there was no pre-planned attack on the chief minister in Nandigram on March 10. Also, the EC feels that her injuries were only a result of a security lapse. In addition, the commission also ordered that charges be framed against Sahay for his failure to protects the Z+ protectee. 

What ECI stated after receiving the letter

In reply to Banerjee’s letter Sudeep Jain deputy election commissioner of ECI has shot a letter where they mentioned that the EC has changed the director security based on the report of chief secretary and the special observer. In a letter sent to the chief minister Tuesday, EC hit back at Mamata saying her claims of “alleged proximity to any political entity” were attempts to “belittle the institution of Commission with repeated innuendos”.
The letter mentioned that ” the overall synergy which is required to be established between directorate of security and local/district police for a visit in the countryside bound to be chief minister who is a Z+ protectee was not there. The synergy is needed to be there in improved manner for averting a recurrence of such incidents in future.”

What Happened in Nandigram on March 10

It may be worth mentioning that Mamata had sustained injuries to her left leg. After, there was chaos from the crowd during the rally only moments post her filing the nomination papers at Nandigram on March 10. In fact, she and her ruling Trinamool Congress continue to allege that the whole incident was not just an accident but a ‘conspiracy’. And it only intended to restrict her from heading the campaigns for the upcoming polls.

Meanwhile, the EC had asked the state chief secretary to provide them with a full report on the incident. So, based on the submitted report, the poll body concluded that there was mainly a security lapse. Then, the EC transferred the Director of Security, the DM, and SP of Nandigram, too. 

Now, this has sparked a war of words between the two major political parties in Bengal: the BJP and the TMC. While the saffron party claim that there is a need for proper investigation into the incident, the TMC leaders continue to claim that it was a planned ‘conspiracy’ against their leader. 

Further, the TMC also wrote a letter to the ECI that this incident was a ‘deep-rooted conspiracy’ to ‘take the life of our chairman’. Though, Mamata is back on her campaign trail in a wheelchair. 

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