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TMC's Derek O'Brien writes to Bengal CEO

ANI
05 Mar 2021, 05:37 GMT+10

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 5 (ANI): Trinamool Congress (TMC) Member of Parliament (MP) Derek O'Brien on Thursday wrote to West Bengal Chief Election Officer (CEO) seeking removal of state Assembly polls in-charge Sudeep Jain over his alleged "irregular/illegal actions".

O'Brien alleged that Jain worked in a partisan manner in Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar statue vandalism matter.

In a letter addressed to the Chief Election Officer of West Bengal, O'Brien said, "At a roadshow/rally in Bengal during Lok Sabha elections in 2019, led by Amit Shah, a mob of supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party attacked Vidyasagar College, and vandalised Vidyasagar College as well as a statue of Shri lshwar Chandra Vidyasagar. In the aftermath of the same Sudeep Jain furnished an erroneous and biased report based on which, the Election Commission of India in an unprecedented manner, barred election campaigning two days prior to the polling date. Only one political party, Bharatiya Janata Party, was allowed to complete its election campaigning for that day before such a bar was announced.

Referring to the above incident, O'Brien in his letter further alleged, "No explanation was sought, no show-cause was issued, no action was taken by the Election Commission of India against the perpetrators Amit Shah or his entourage. Jain's actions were completely biased, partisan, reeked of partiality and tainted."In another such allegation on Jain over "illegality regarding Quick Response Team", O'Brien in his letter stated, "During the Lok Sabha elections of 2019, Sudeep Jain introduced the concept of Quick Response Team comprising state police and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) to be led by an officer of CAPF. The scheme of the Constitution of India mandates that a State shall have the right to deal with 'Public Order' and 'Police', under Entries 1 and 2, respectively, of List II of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution.

"Any deviation from the same would tantamount to an attack against the ideals of federalism, which have been recognised as an essential feature and a part of the basic structure of the Constitution. There is no provision anywhere to give power to the CAPF to control or command the State Police. The State Police functions under the exclusive superintendence of the state government as per relevant laws applicable to it, including but not limited to the Code of Criminal Procedure," said the TMC leader in his letter.

Obrien's letter further stated there is a functional dichotomy between the CAPF and the state police and the training and knowledge of both the forces including the purview of their operation differs largely and therefore cannot be compared.

The TMC leader also said in his letter that other than during the times of elections, such forces should operate in aid of the state police and in cooperation with the civil administration and cannot supplant or usurp the civil-police power of a state.

Obrien's letter stated that during elections, their deployment is to work under command and in aid of the state police for local area domination, static duties etc, adding that even under the plenary powers of Article 324 of the Constitution of India, the Election Commission cannot take a decision of such nature since the same is completely beyond the realm of law.

"For such reasons, the such decision as introduced and/or communicated by Sudeep Jain was bad in law. Subsequently, the Election Commission of India realised it was wrong and the decision for QRT to be led by an officer of the CAPF was withdrawn," stated O'Brien in his letter.

Obrien's letter further read, "Under the circumstances, we have serious doubt that Sudeep Jain would be impartial, fair and his approach towards all parties would be equal for the reason that all his actions were favourable to/and are titled towards BJP and/or are undue, illegal and/or unconstitutional. We have no confidence in Sudeep Jain.""In light of the above, we call upon you to withdraw Sudeep Jain as in-charge on behalf of Election Commission of India for West Bengal Assembly elections, 2021," stated O'Brien in his closing remarks in his letter to the West Bengal Chief Election Officer. (ANI)

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