People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 08

February 24, 2013




‘State Govt Violated Code of Conduct’


ON February 18, 2013, the CPI(M) Central Committee office forwarded to the chief election commissioner of the Election Commission (EC) of India a copy of the letter addressed to the chief electoral officer (CEO) of West Bengal by Biman Basu, chairman of the Left Front Committee, West Bengal. This was in regard to the clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct by the state administration. The letter itself detailed the procedure violated in regard to the by-elections to three assembly constituencies, viz Nalhati, Rezinagar and English Bazar in Bhirbhum, Murshidabad and Maldah districts respectively, while the state administration has effected the transfer of state level police officers as a result of the major reshuffle. This, the CPI(M) believes, has been done without any reference to the Election Commission.


The CPI(M) leaders therefore requested the you to chief election commissioner rescind the said administrative decision in keeping with the precedents while supervising and overseeing the election process, so that it can be conducted in a free and fair manner.


The forwarding letter was signed by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury and Central Secretariat member Nilotpal Basu on behalf of the CPI(M) headquarters.


The text of the letter written by the Left Front Committee chairman, Biman Basu, to the chief electoral officer (CEO) of West Bengal is being reproduced below.


I would like to draw your kind attention to the fact that the additional director general and inspector general of police (law & order), West Bengal, has been transferred as police commissioner, Kolkata Police, on February 14, 2013. This transfer is a blatant violation of Section 28A of the Representation of People Act 1951. It was notified by the additional chief secretary, government of West Bengal (home department), vide no 151-Home (Elecot) R3E-4/2013 dated January 14, 2013, that the above mentioned officer will act as designated officer of the Election Commission with effect from the date of notification announcing the by-elections to West Bengal Legislative Assembly from 293 Nalhari, 51 English Bazar and 70 Rejinagar, and till the end of the election in this state.


I also like to draw your kind attention to the EC letter no 464/INST/2007-PLN- 1, dated January 7, 2007, addressed to the chief secretaries and the CEOs of all states and union territories. In that letter dealing with the transfer and posting of officials it has been stated in clause VI: “The transferred orders issued in respect of the above categories of officers prior to the date of announcement but not implemented till the time when Model Code came into effect should not be given effect to without obtaining specific permission from the Commission.” And in clause VII it has been stated: “this ban shall be effective till the completion of the election process.”   


This issue was brought by our representatives to your notice today. During the meeting it was also revealed from the discussion that the state government has not taken any prior permission from the EC while transferring the said officer which is a clear violation of the RP Act 1951.


I hope appropriate steps should be taken immediately in this regard as per the direction of the EC.