Governor, Mamata trade charges over role of state poll panel chief

A war of words between them erupted when Bose, refusing to accept the state election commissioner’s joining report, amid murmurs of removal of the state election commissioner.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee (File | PTI)
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee (File | PTI)

KOLKATA:  Bonhomie between Bengal governor C. V. Ananda Bose and chief minister Mamata Banerjee, which was observed shortly after the constitutional head of the state assumed office in November last year, seems to be petering out as the face-off between the two reached its peak on Thursday.

The duo disagreed over the role being played by the State Election Commission (SEC) and its head ahead of the panchayat elections in Bengal.

Bose, late on Wednesday night, returned state election commissioner Rajiva Sinha’s joining report, casting a shadow on the continuation of the state poll panel head.

A war of words between the two erupted when Bose, refusing to accept the state election commissioner’s joining report, expressed his “disappointment” amid murmurs of removal of the state election commissioner and Mamata said the state poll panel head can’t be removed on whims and fancies.

Asserting that Sinha’s removal is a “cumbersome process”, Mamata said, “State Election Commissioner cannot be removed just like that. He was appointed after the government approved it. He cannot be removed just at the drop of a hat. The removal process is quite cumbersome, just like removing judges through impeachment,” she said before leaving for Patna to attend a meeting of opposition parties.  

“Never ever the poll process in Bengal is so peaceful. It is cadres of our party who have been killed. There have been incidents in three to four booths and armed with that, some people are maligning Bengal,” she added.

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