A grand ceremony had been organised for HD Kumaraswamy’s oath-taking ceremony as the Chief Minister of Karnataka at the Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on Wednesday. The chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and West Bengal, along with AICC President Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, were invited.
The police had diverted traffic in several areas so the leaders would not be inconvenienced while travelling to the ceremony. However, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee ended up walking from High Point signal to the Vidhana Soudha.
The irked West Bengal CM was seen complaining about the lack of adequate arrangements for her welcome.
In a video of Mamata entering the venue of the swearing-in, captured by ANI, an angry Mamata was seen gesturing towards Neelamani Raju, the DG and IGP of Karnataka, and later was seen explaining her situation to former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar, who were also present for the ceremony.
While proceeding towards the seating area, Mamata was once again seen complaining to the leaders present there. She refused to sit down, but later went on to greet the dignitaries on the dais and the audience at the venue, after allegedly being pacified by Deve Gowda and other leaders.
She was seen giving Neelamani Raju, the state’s topmost police officer, a dressing down on the steps of the Vidhana Soudha.
Kumaraswamy was also seen apologising to Mamata Banerjee and issuing a warning to Neelamani. On Thursday, several news reports of Neelamani Raju being transferred were published in the media.
However, when TNM contacted Neelamani, she said that she had not been transferred but had submitted a verbal report to CM Kumaraswamy.
DG and IGP Neelamani said she told CM Kumaraswamy that the mix-up happened because AICC President Rahul Gandhi and the former Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi’s convoy was moving at the same time Mamata Banerjee’s convoy was also moving towards Vidhana Soudha.
“Since Rahul Gandhi’s convoy was already en route, CM Mamata Banerjee’s convoy was asked to wait for a few minutes until the convoy passed,” Neelamani said.
A senior police officer told TNM that a practical decision was made as both convoys could not have passed at the same time.
Refuting reports, HD Kumaraswamy, who spoke to the media, said that he had received Neelamani’s verbal report and that he has not issued orders for her transfer.
“I am only the CM designate, not the CM until the floor test is over. I cannot make decisions about who should be transferred. Neelamani Raju has not been transferred now,” Kumaraswamy added.
However, sources in the Home Department told TNM that after the floor test, several top police officials are likely to be transferred.
“They are waiting for the trust vote to be over. At least 10 top police officers will be transferred within two weeks after the new government is formed,” the source added.
Nelamani Raju is the first woman DG and IGP of Karnataka. Hailing from Uttarakhand, she is a 1983 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. She was posted as the DG and IGP of Karnataka in 2017.