West Bengal bypolls: BJP team meets CEO, seeks central forces

The BJP demanded 120 companies of central forces for guarding booths and for area domination.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Published:November 16, 2016 5:36 am

A delegation of the state BJP, led by party state vice-president Jay Prakash Majumdar, met the chief electoral officer (CEO) here and urged him to ensure trouble-free and fair bypolls at the two Lok Sabha and one assembly constituencies in the state on November 19.

“Under the Election Commission’s (EC’s) instructions, two central armed force personnel were deployed during the 2016 Assembly elections in each of the booths and none of the state police officials were allowed inside.

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The same steps should be repeated this time in the bypolls because there is still a lot of violence in the areas, which will go to the polls,” Majumdar said.

A memorandum, signed by Majumdar and state committee member Amiya Sarkar, was also submitted to the CEO. It said the voters of villages and towns were being threatened with dire consequences if they did not vote for the ruling party. The opposition party workers are being terrorised and beaten up, their party offices razed, read the MoU.

“Free and fair election is not possible in such a situation, unless a confidence-building measure is taken up. Booths should be given protection by the central forces and a post-poll surveillance should be conducted. In addition, the EC should bar local police from guarding or managing the booths,” the memorandum read.

The BJP demanded 120 companies of central forces for guarding booths and for area domination.

Reports of recent incidents of violence were attached with the MoU.

“There are 4,124 polling booths in the three constituencies and we have requested the CEO for 120 companies of the Central forces,” Majumdar said.

Cooch Behar and Tamluk Lok Sabha constituencies and Monteswar Assembly constituency in Burdwan will go to the polls on November 19.

All the three seats were being held by TMC. Elections at Cooch Behar and Monteswar had become necessary owing to the deaths of MP Renuka Sinha and MLA Sajal Panja.

MP Suvendu Adhikari was pitched as TMC’s MLA candidate from Nandigram in the 2016 Assembly elections. He won and was inducted into Mamata’s cabinet of ministers, vacating his Tamluk LS constituency.