West Bengal Sees Rapid Succession of Police Chiefs Ahead of Lok Sabha Elections

Sanjay Mukherjee-EC

Kolkata: In an unexpected turn of events, the Election Commission has made a swift change in the leadership of West Bengal’s police force, appointing Sanjay Mukherjee as the new Director General of Police (DGP) within just 24 hours of the previous appointment. This decision comes after the brief tenure of IPS officer Vivek Sahay as the DGP, who was replaced due to his impending retirement in early May, which precedes the conclusion of the Lok Sabha elections.

Sanjay Mukherjee, a seasoned officer from the 1989 batch of the Indian Police Service (IPS), was selected for the role, ranking second on the list submitted by the West Bengal government to the Election Commission. The Commission has mandated the state government to ensure swift action on this directive and to confirm the appointment by the end of the business day on Tuesday.

The reshuffling began with the removal of Rajiv Kumar from the DGP position, followed by the short-lived appointment of Vivek Sahay. Sahay, belonging to the 1988 batch of IPS, previously served as Assistant Director General and Commandant General of the Home Guard. Kumar, who had been appointed as the state’s DGP in December of the previous year, has now been reassigned to the Department of Information and Technology in a provisional capacity.

Sanjay Mukherjee-EC

The transfer of the DGP role in West Bengal is not without precedent; the officer in question, Rajiv Kumar, had been previously relieved from election-related duties during both the 2016 assembly elections and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. This latest development underscores the Election Commission’s commitment to ensuring stable and reliable law enforcement leadership throughout the critical election period.