NEW DELHI: The Central Election Commission on Tuesday axed the West Bengal Director General of Police (DGP) Virendra and replaced him with Neeraj Nayan Pandey ahead of the high-voltage Assembly election contest in the state.
It also directed the state government not to give Virendra any post that directly or indirectly relates to the conduct of elections.
The change of guard came amid concerns of violence flagged by the BJP.
Till now, Pandey was the Additional Director General of Police (organisation), who was part of the CBI team that had probed the Taj corridor scam in 2002-2003 when he was on deputation.
Earlier, the poll panel had removed Bengal’s additional director general of police (law and order).
“The ECI is acting at the behest of the BJP. Virendra was an efficient officer. The removal of senior officials will not have an impact on poll result and the Trinamool is all set to retain power,” said Saugata Roy, the party’s MP and spokesperson.
Echoing him, Congress Bengal president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the BJP’s trick to remove efficient officers would not provide electoral dividend in their favour.
Bengal is set for a closely watched contest between the ruling Trinamool Congress and a surging BJP, which is hoping to win 200 of the state’s 294 seats.
Elections will begin on March 27 and continue till April 29, making it the longest ever polls in the state. The results will be declared on May 2.
Comply by today, Chief Secretary told
In its directive to the West Bengal chief secretary, the Election Commission said, “Kindly inform the commission about the compliance latest by 10 am tomorrow (Wednesday).”