oppn parties EC's Musical Chairs In Bengal: Newly-Appointed DGP Replaced Within 24 Hours

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EC's Musical Chairs In Bengal: Newly-Appointed DGP Replaced Within 24 Hours

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2024-03-20 03:51:54

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday replaced Vivek Sahay, whom it had appointed just a day ago, as Director General of Police of West Bengal (after replacing incumbent Rajeev Kumar) and appointed Sanjay Mukherjee in his place. Sahay created history by becoming the DGP for the shortest period ever. Although the EC did not give any reasons for the change, it is being reported that since Sahay was to retire in May in the middle of the elections, the EC thought it fit to affect the change now instead of in the middle of the elections.

But whatever the reason, this double-change in two days shows the EC in poor light. Why did it appoint Sahay in the first place when his retirement was to take place in the middle of the elections? Did it not scrutinize the profile of the officer with a fine tooth-comb? It is extremely bad on EC's part to have appointed Sahay the DGP and then remove him just a day later. The EC is guilty of arbitrariness and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) has slammed the body for the same and also questioned its neutrality.

Although Sahay could have been given an extension till the results were declared but that would have gone against the EC's stated policy of not allotting election work to police officers on extension. In 2014, before the general elections, the EC had directed all states not to give election duty to any police officers who had retired and were on extension.

In Sahay's case, the EC committed a blunder by not taking into account his retirement date before appointing him in place of Rajeev Kumar. The decision to replace him in a day has left it open to charges of bias and the TMC has alleged that the BJP is turning the EC into an extended arm of the party. It has demanded Supreme Court-monitored Lok Sabha elections in the state.