A vehicle of BJP National President JP Nadda's convoy damaged after stone-pelting by alleged TMC activists at Sirakal near Diamond Harbour, in South 24 Pargana.(PTI)
A vehicle of BJP National President JP Nadda's convoy damaged after stone-pelting by alleged TMC activists at Sirakal near Diamond Harbour, in South 24 Pargana.(PTI)

TMC, BJP lock horns as MHA calls 3 IPS officers back on deputation

The allegation is part of a new verbal war between the Centre and the state government sparked by an attack on BJP president JP Nadda’s convoy by stone-throwing TMC activists when he was on a visit on Thursday to Diamond Harbour.
UPDATED ON DEC 13, 2020 01:09 AM IST

Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the Centre of waging political vendetta, the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal on Saturday hit out at a move by the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) to call three Indian Police Service (IPS) officers back on central deputation.

The allegation is part of a new verbal war between the Centre and the state government sparked by an attack on BJP president JP Nadda’s convoy by stone-throwing TMC activists when he was on a visit on Thursday to Diamond Harbour, the Lok Sabha constituency of chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.

“The Centre is indirectly trying to impose emergency and is keeping IAS {Indian Administrative Service} and IPS officers under coercion. The three IPS officers were on duty that day, and yesterday (December 11) they received letters from the MHA. The vindictive attitude is clear,” said Kalyan Banerjee, senior advocate and chief whip of the TMC in the Lok Sabha.

The home ministry on Saturday called the three IPS officers responsible for Nadda’s security back on central deputation from West Bengal.

“The convoy of a person enjoying Z-category security has a pilot car and a tail car. If any other vehicle wants to enter that convoy, the local police needs to be informed and permission needs to be taken. Here no permission was taken,” said Kalyan Banerjee.

Leaders of the BJP’s Bengal unit hit back at Kalyan Banerjee. “Who is Banerjee? Is he someone from the state government? No. Is he someone from the Centre? No. He is a MP of the state’s ruling party. What is he trying to prove? Is it so that the chief minister has no answer and that why she is asking her MP, who is not related to the matter, to respond,” BJP leader Jay Prakash Majumdar said.

The Centre had on Friday asked chief secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay and director general of police Virendra to appear before it on December 14. This drew a strong reaction from the TMC, which argued that law and order was a state subject and outside the Centre’s remit.

“Under no law can the Centre summon the officers. The executive powers of the Union government can only be exercised only in cases under the Union list and concurrent list. Law and order is in the state list of the seventh schedule. The executive power can’t be exercised here,” Kalyan Banerjee added.

The TMC MP has sent a letter to Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla protesting the MHA’s letter, which asked the state chief secretary to release three IPS officers for central deputation.

He alleged that it was an instance of political vendetta, saying that the Union home secretary wanted to meet the state’s chief secretary and director general of police on the instructions of Union home minister Amit Shah.

“It is shameful and dangerous that all laws have been thrown out in the river by your action at the instance of Amit Shah, BJP leader and home minister of India. Your every path suffers from mala fide exercise of power,” Kalyan Banerjee wrote in the letter sent to Ajay Bhalla, the Union home secretary.

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