Kolkata, The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday appointed Vivek Dubey, a retired IPS officer of 1981 batch, as the Central Police Observer for West Bengal for the coming Lok Sabha elections.
He would replace K.K. Sharma, a retired IPS officer of 1982 batch “K K Sharma has been replaced by Vivek Dubey as central police observer for West Bengal,” Additional Chief Electoral officer (CEO) Sanjay Basu today said.
Sharma’s appointment as central police observer for West Bengal had been objected by state Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee and CPI(M) on grounds of neutrality.
Ms Banerjee on Wednesday took exception to appointment of former BSF director general K K Sharma as special police observer for West Bengal and during the Lok Sabha elections.
“How can a retired police officer look after the deployment of serving police personnel? During his tenure as the DG, he had attended an RSS program and that too in uniform,” she said.
“Is he an impartial observer? Is this a way to ensure we will get justice? Is this democracy? I respect the Khakhi uniform. It must not be misused. It must only be used for the nation’s interest,” she added.
Ms Banerjee also said, “I have evidence that my mobile is being tapped. My calls and messages are being monitored. All Opposition leaders are under scanner, including people at high positions in various institutions.”
On the other hand, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Nilotpal Basu had written to the Chief Election Commissioner, drawing his attention to the appointment of BSF DG as special police observer for election to Parliament for West Bengal.
In a letter addressed to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, Mr Basu said,“We are deeply disturbed by the report that the Election Commission of India has appointed BSF DG, K K Sharma, as the overall special police observer for the elections to the Parliament in West Bengal.”
He said it has been widely reported that the DG, who has now retired, participated in a two-day event in Kolkata which was organized by Seemanta Chetna Manch, part of RSS-backed Seema Jagran Manch, a Pan India body which aims to instill ‘patriotism’ in the border areas across the country.
” The ECI’s appointment, therefore, is patently questionable and would raise the question of political partisanship. We would, therefore, urge the Commission to reconsider and rescind this appointment forthwith,” Mr Basu added.