Put me in jail, will not remove any official: Mamata

Mamata-BanerjeeKolkata, April 7 : Lashing out at the Election Commission after it transferred eight West Bengal officials, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday refused to carry out the orders and said she was even prepared to go to jail.

Challenging the commission, Banerjee said: "Put me in jail. I will not remove a single officer as chief minister. You rule and remove."

A fuming Banerjee termed the commission's decision as a conspiracy hatched by the central government, the poll panel, the Congress, the BJP and the CPI-M as also a media group.

She said it was aimed at facilitating rigging in the election by the opposition parties.

"Either you have to accept my resignation or I will not obey you. I respect you, but not by bowing down," she told an election meeting at Pandua in Hooghly district.

"I will fight it alone. I don't care for your conspiracy. Don't blame Mamata Banerjee for any trouble. Either Mamata Banerjee will look after law and order, or the Election Commission. You control law and order. I have no objection. I can't take responsibility."

"I have been elected by the people. I have not been elected at the mercy of the Congress, or you. I challenge the Election Commission, which I have never done in my life," she said.

The poll panel Monday ordered the transfer of five police superintendents, one district magistrate and two additional district magistrates from their posts.

The commission's order, which came a day after the full bench of the poll panel held wide consultations with state officials and political parties, was sent to state Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra during the day.

Five police superintendents - in charge of West Midnapore, Bardhman, Birbhum, Malda and North 24 Parganas districts - were involved in the reshuffle along with the district magistrate of North 24 Parganas. Two additional district magistrates were also relieved of poll duty.

The commission asked the state government to implement the orders by Tuesday and said the transferred officials have to be kept away from Lok Sabha poll related duty.(IANS)