KOLKATA: In a fresh round of confrontation between the West Bengal government and the Election Commission of India (ECI), the Mamata Banerjee-led dispensation questioned the poll panel’s “unilateral” decision to engage 34 IAS officers from the state as observers in the Jharkhand Assembly polls, scheduled to be held in December.
“The ECI has picked the officers unilaterally. This is not the standard practice of seeking officers from the state government for election duty. The poll panel shortlisted the officers without consulting the state government and informed us,” said an official at Nabanna, the state secretariat.
“The ECI sent a list of officers and asked the administration to ensure they attend mandatory training in Delhi on October 31. The decision to pick so many officers was taken without any consultation. A file has been prepared and sent to the CMO,” said the official. The government has asked the officers picked by the ECI to wait for the state’s decision. The ruling Trinamool had had frequent run-ins with the ECI before and during the general elections earlier this year.