Bengal-Centre standoff on House panel radar

The Parliamentary panel on home affairs led by Congress MP Anand Sharma on Friday took up the issue of West Bengal refusing to send three Indian Police Service (IPS) officers on central deputation, said people familiar with the matter.

“The issue was raised by (BJP MP Rakesh) Sinha who said that Bengal’s refusal to accept the deputation is against cooperative federalism in India,” said a person familiar with the matter. “It may lead to chain reaction. The deputation is the Centre’s prerogative.”

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The order regarding the transfer of the IPS officers on central deputation came after Bharatiya Janata Party national president JP Nadda’s convoy was attacked in West Bengal during a recent visit. The Centre wants them shifted on account of alleged dereliction of duty. The Centre also summoned the chief secretary and director general of police for the second time on Friday to assess the law-and-order situation in the state. The officials, however, have not appeared before the home ministry yet.

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Meanwhile, TMC MP Dinesh Trivedi asserted the need for the committee to consistently monitor the pandemic. The panel was meeting to adopt a report on the Covid-19 crisis that will tabled in the next session.

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