Kolkata, April 13: Opposition parties in West Bengal on Tuesday welcomed the Election Commission's (EC) decision to remove Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, saying it would deliver a stern message to police officials who work on behalf of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).
The TMC refused to react on the EC's decision to remove Kumar.
"We welcome the move by the EC to remove Rajeev Kumar. He would have been removed long back had the flyover collapse not happened. We believe that the decision will send out a strong message to those police officials who are still working on behalf of the TMC," CPI(M) politburo member Mohammed Salim told PTI.
Kumar has been replaced by ADG (CID) Soumen Mitra.
The opposition political parties had recently demanded the removal of Kumar, who is allegedly close to the ruling TMC, after an alleged failed sting operation against the partys national secretary Rahul Sinha last month. Two Kolkata Police personnel were suspended after they allegedly tried to bribe Sinha in return for help to smuggle out cows to Bangladesh.
"We welcome the decision. We had lodged a complaint against Rajeev Kumar in the EC. We are hopeful that this will send out a right message to all those officials who are working on behalf of the TMC," BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh said.
Former state Congress president and MP Pradip Bhattacharya said free and fair polls would have never been possible in Kolkata with Kumar at the helm of city police.
TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee, however, declined to make any comment on the development.