Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla may have a video conference with West Bengal's Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay and Director General of Police Virendra on Friday evening after they conveyed their inability to travel to the national capital, officials said.
On Thursday, the Home Ministry sent a fresh letter to the state's two top officials asking them to come to New Delhi for a meeting with the home secretary at 5 pm on Friday. However, they conveyed they were not in a position to travel to the capital in the present circumstances and offered to attend the meeting through video conference.
The Home Ministry is deliberating on the offer and the video conference may take place this evening, an official said.
If the meeting does take place, the two officials may be asked to explain the law and order situation in West Bengal as well as the steps taken to prevent political violence and other crimes in the state, another official said.
The chief secretary and the DGP wereácalled by the Home Ministry on December 14 after receiving a report on December 11 from West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on the law and order situation in the state.
Dhankhar was asked to submit a report after BJP president J P Nadda's convoy was attacked with stones and bricks in Diamond Harbour on December 10 during his two-day visit to the state.
The Centre and the West Bengal government have been at loggerheads since the attack in that took place in the Lok Sabha constituency of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
After the attack, the Home Ministry summoned three IPS officers -- Bholanath Pandey (SP, Diamond Harbour), Praveen Tripathi (DIG, Presidency Range) andáRajeev Mishra (ADG, South Bengal) û for deputations at the Centre. The three wereáresponsible for Nadda's security. However, the state government refused to relieve them citing shortage of senior police officers.
On Thursday, the Home Ministry sentáa fresh missive to the West Bengal government asking it to immediately relieve the three IPS officers, saying they had already been given new assignments.
The ministry said Pandey has been appointed superintendent of police (SP) in the Bureau of Police Research and Development, Tripathi deputy inspector general (DIG) in the Sashastra Seema Bal and Mishra inspector general (IG) in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police.
"This move, particularly before the elections is against the basic tenets of the federal structure. It's unconstitutional & completely unacceptable!" the chief minister said in her response.
"GoI's (Government of India) order of central deputation for the 3 serving IPS officers of West Bengal despite the State's objection is a colourable exercise of power and blatant misuse of emergency provision of IPS Cadre Rule 1954," Banerjee had tweeted.
The state government's consent is taken before any all India service officer is called to serve in Central deputation.
However, in this case, the MHA has unilaterally taken the decision, bypassing the state government, under a clause of the Indian Police Service (Cadre) Rules, 1954.
The rules say that in case of any disagreement between the central and state governments, the state governments concerned shall give effect to the decision of the central government.