West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor C V Ananda Bose are engaged in a contentious discussion on the appointment of the State Election Commissioner. The Chief Minister reacted angrily, calling the Governor’s remarks an insult to Bengal after he said that there is a “state of fear” and that the Election Commission is responsible for every drop of blood spilled on the pitch.
On Wednesday, Mr. Bose unexpectedly declined to accept the state election commissioner’s joining report. This occurred hours after Mr. Sinha had been summoned to the Governor’s office to provide an explanation about the violence and altercations that occurred during the panchayat election nomination process.
From September 2019 to September 2020, Mr. Sinha served as West Bengal’s chief secretary. The Governor appointed him to the position of State Election Commissioner after the state put his name up. Because of Mr. Sinha’s alleged ties to the Trinamool Congress, which is currently in power, the BJP was unhappy with the appointment, and sources claim that the party’s state leadership has been pushing for his dismissal.
Yesterday, Mr Bose told reporters in Haldia, East Midnapore, “I have noticed in the field that people are in a state of terror. Of course I won’t claim there is violence everywhere, but there is violence,” the governor stated.
“Blood is being shed. Every drop of human blood that is spilled on the pitch is the responsibility of the Election Commission. People desire action, not a pretext for unrest. Yes, I chose Mr. Sinha (from a panel provided to me by the esteemed Council of Ministers). We all anticipate him performing his duties. Human blood cannot be used as a negotiating chip, he continued.
Before departing for Patna to join the massive gathering of opposition parties, Ms. Banerjee criticised Mr. Bose, saying it is difficult to remove a state election commissioner.
“This is extraordinary and has never happened in my life. He holds a position that is legal. It is not a decision that has been imposed from above because he (the Governor) had cleared the file and delivered the oath. It complied with the system. The impeachment procedure for judges must be followed if the Election Commissioner is to be dismissed. Not so simple, according to Ms. Banerjee.
“Remember the people will vote,” she said, “I feel the more they annoy us, the more they rally around us, the more they disrespect Bengal, the more they rob Bengal. They are utilising agencies to do whatever they please after failing politically. The populace is prepared to respond to this. We’ll battle them and prevail.”