Amid the ongoing Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal, the Election Commission (EC) of India on Sunday removed Bankura District Mgistrate (DM) Uma Shankar for allegedly trying to create some problems during one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's election rallies in the district. Shankar will be replaced by 2008 batch IAS officer Mukta Arya as the new District Magistrate of the Bankura administrative unit in the Indian state of West Bengal.
"West Bengal: Election Commission removes Uma Shankar from the post of Bankura District Magistrate. Mukta Arya is replacing him as the new DM," the news agency ANI reported.
West Bengal: Election Commission removes Uma Shankar from the post of Bankura District Magistrate. Mukta Arya is replacing him as the new DM pic.twitter.com/oa55uK8kBm— ANI (@ANI) May 12, 2019
Though the poll panel is yet to give any official reason behind the removal, sources close to the development suggest that the decision came on the heels of denial of permission by Shankar to land PM Modi's helicopter at the time of his Bankura rally earlier in the month.
The Bengal unit of the BJP also accused Shankar of helping the Trinamool Congress to loot votes during the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections in the district on Sunday, adding that he should have been removed before today's polling. A clash was also reported between BJP and Trinamool Congress workers from Bankura earlier in the day.
PM Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's war of words reached new heights on May 9, with both the leaders accusing each other for several ongoing issues in their respective rallies in the state.
Addressing a gathering at Bankura Modi said the desperation of Banerjee is evident from the language she is using and her arrogance will be reason of her downfall. "When it comes to me she only talks about stones and slaps. I am used to such language," Modi was quoted as saying.
"In desperation, she is insulting the Constitution. She said that she does not consider country’s Prime Minister as the Prime Minister but she is proudly considering the Prime Minister of Pakistan as a Prime Minister," he added.
Speaking at her Gopiballavpur rally, the Trinamool Congress chief said she does not consider Modi as the Prime Minister, adding that when the new Prime Minister comes, she will speak with that person.
Eight seats from West Bengal including Bankura went to polls in the penultimate phase of Lok Sabha elections on May 12. The counting of votes will be taken place on May 23.