Updated: December 3, 2021 3:24:17 am
The BJP has moved the Supreme Court with a prayer to deploy the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) for the December 19 Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) election.
West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said that a “free, fair and peaceful” election was not possible under the state police.
“We had made a deputation to Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and told him that a free, fair and peaceful election in West Bengal is not possible with the state police force. We had appealed to the Governor to look into our demand for deployment of the Central Armed Police Force for the KMC election. Now, we have decided to move the Supreme Court to press the same demand. We have already filed a petition before the apex court, seeking its directives to West Bengal State Election Commission (WBSEC) to deploy central force,” said Majumdar in a video message on Thursday.
Currently in Delhi, Majumdar will lead a delegation of party MPs from West Bengal for a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.
The BJP had earlier asked WBSEC to deploy CAPF for civic polls — an appeal the poll panel is yet to consider.
Majumdar’s reaction came hours after Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Thursday met State Election Commissioner Saurav Das on upcoming KMC election, at the Raj Bhavan. Sources said the Governor asked Das why elections to over 100 civic bodies were not being held in a single phase. Dhankhar also sought the SEC view on CAPF deployment.
“SEC @MamataOfficial indicated to Governor Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar that as regards deployment #CAPF he would revert by December 04 and assured that all steps for fair, impartial and free elections will be diligently taken,” tweeted the governor.
“Shri Saurav Das State Election Commissioner @MamataOfficial called on Governor Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar at Raj Bhavan, Kolkata today and updated him on issues #KMC elections preparedness. Governor indicated SEC that constitutional provisions have overriding effect and be followed,” he added.
Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Suvendu Adhikari on Thursday likened the state police to TMC cadre.
“The Governor has rightly asked the state election commissioner to share his views on deployment of CAPF as the law and order situation in the state is deteriorating every day. Post-poll violence is still continuing here. Police have become the ruling party’s cadre.
“Therefore free and fair polls cannot be held here without CAPF,” said Adhikari.
Later in the day, a BJP delegation met the state election commissioner and reiterated its demand for CAPF deployment. “We draw your attention to our letter dated 29th November, 2021 on the subject of deployment of Central Forces. Since then we have announced our list of 144 candidates for Kolkata Municipal Corporation elections. No sooner this was done our candidates have been receiving threatening calls, warning the candidates with dire consequences, including threat to life,” read the BJP memorandum submitted to commissioner Das.
“We once again call upon the Commission to deploy Central Forces for area domination, confidence building and conducting of polls, failing which we will have no option but to hold the Commission responsible for any untoward incidence that may happen,” it added.
A delegation of Left Front leaders too met Das on Thursday evening and urged him to ensure a free, fair and peaceful polls.
The TMC, on the other hand, ridiculed the BJP for demanding CAPF deployment for the civic poll. “The governor is acting beyond his jurisdiction. This is not desired. He is advocating for the BJP. He must understand that the Centre had deployed a large number of CAPF personnel for state Assembly polls earlier this year but the result showed the TMC winning 213 seats in the state,” said TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh.
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