Kolkata: The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal has hit out at the Modi government for summoning the state’s chief secretary and director general of police (DGP) to discuss the “law and order” situation in the wake of the attack on BJP chief J.P. Nadda’s convoy during his visit to the state earlier this week.
TMC MP and senior advocate Kalyan Banerjee Saturday wrote to Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, questioning his authority to summon the chief secretary and DGP.
Banerjee, in the three-page letter, a copy of which is with ThePrint, advised Bhalla not to behave like a “servant of Amit Shah”, but “act like a central government high official”. He also asked Bhalla to treat the letter as a “protest” by the party.
Bhalla had on 11 December written to the Mamata Banerjee government, asking the chief secretary and the DGP to join him for a meeting in Delhi on 14 December to discuss Bengal’s law and order situation.
The MHA letter came a day after Nadda’s convoy was stoned during his visit to Diamond Harbour in South 24 Parganas district. Nadda has a Z category protection. Several BJP workers were admitted to hospitals, while senior party leaders Mukul Roy and Kailash Vijayvargiya suffered minor injuries in the attack.
In response to Bhalla’s letter, Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Banerjee wrote to him the same day, explaining the security measures taken on 10 December for Nadda’s visit to Diamond Harbour.
The chief secretary said a DIG-ranked official was stationed in the area to oversee the police arrangement. Under him, four additional superintendents of police (SPs), eight deputy SPs, 14 inspectors, 70 sub-inspectors, 40 RAF personnel, 259 constables and 350 members of auxiliary forces were deployed, according to the letter, a copy of which is with ThePrint.
He also requested the union home secretary to “dispense with the state officials in the meeting”.
Centre trying to ‘coerce’ Bengal officers with ‘political vindictiveness’
MP Kalyan Banerjee, in his letter, said the MHA summons appear to be issued with a “political motive”.
“How in respect of the law and order situation you can call the two officials for any sorts of discussion? Can you, under the Constitution of India and any other law, intervene in respect of law and order of the state? It appears that with a political motive and at the insistence of your minister, who is a political person belonging to BJP, you have issued the said letter,” he wrote.
Adding that the Centre is trying to “coerce” the officers of West Bengal with “political vindictiveness”, he said the central government is interfering with the federal structure.
BJP leader in Nadda’s convoy ‘provoked’ the crowd
MP Banerjee alleged that BJP leader Rakesh Singh, who was present in the convoy, provoked the crowd. He also claimed Singh has “59 criminal cases” against him.
“It is apparent that the directions to the chief secretary and the DGP for discussion of law and order at your chamber is colourable exercise of power or you have mala fide intention for creating disturbances in West Bengal obviously at the dictate of Amit Shah,” he said, calling the MHA’s action “shameful and dangerous”.
Accusing Bhalla of “indirectly imposing emergency” in the state and trying to “terrorise all IAS and IPS officers”, he advised him to not behave like “servant of Amit Shah”, but act like an “appropriate central government high official”.