Election Commission can cancel polls in parts of Bengal if Mamata Banerjee defies order: sources

NEW DELHI : : In an escalating battle, Election Commission sources have pointed out that the panel has the option of canceling polls in certain West Bengal constituencies if chief minister Mamata Banerjee continues to challenge its order to transfer eight officials.   The Election Commission or EC has sought the transfer of five Superintendents of Police, one district magistrate and two additional district magistrates in West Bengal. A furious Ms Banerjee said yesterday, “I challenge the Election Commission to remove anybody while I am in charge.” mamta-08
The chief minister also said, “How can the Election Commission transfer and name new officers without consulting the state government,” and, “You will only listen to the Congress…to make the Congress win, BJP win. You will have to take my resignation. I will not remove a single officer, not while I am Chief Minister. Do what you like.”
The EC is yet to officially respond to Ms Banerjee. The commission sources said it would wait for the state administration to transfer the officials. “The EC’s mandate is to conduct free and fair elections…If the officials not transferred then polls can be cancelled in those constituencies,” a senior official said. West Bengal begins polling from April 17 in five phases.While announcing the commission’s decision, the state’s chief electoral officer told reporters yesterday that the EC has sought the transfer of the officials following complaints of bias against them.

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