Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday yet again summoned 3 IPS officers of West Bengal and had asked them to report to the centre by 5 p.m. today. Further escalating the battle between the centre and TMC, TMC government again refused to send the IPS officers to Delhi and have asked for a virtual meeting citing the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Union Home Secretary send out a letter to the West Bengal government asking West Bengal’s chief secretary and police chief to arrive in the meeting with the centre at 5.30 p.m. on Friday. However, the West Bengal officials demanded a video meeting but the centre has not yet responded to the demand.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted that GoI’s order of central deputation for the 3 serving IPS officers of West Bengal despite the state’s objection was a colourable exercise of power and blatant misuse of emergency provision of IPS Cadre Rule 1954. She wrote that the act was nothing but a deliberate attempt to encroach upon the state’s jurisdiction and demoralise the serving officers in WB, the move, particularly before the election was against the basic tenets of the federal structure. She further said that it was unconstitutional and completely unacceptable.

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GOI had summoned West Bengal officers last week as well over law and order situation in the state after BJP president JP Nadda’s convoy was attacked but Mamata Banerjee led West Bengal government had refused to send the officers.

As the assembly elections come closer in West Bengal, the campaigns have also intensified. The main battle in the state this year is that between Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Trinamool Congress (TMC). BJP had set and announced a target of landing at 200 seats in this election but both BJP and TMC have their own challenges.

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