With bypolls scheduled in West Bengal for the Bongaon Lok Sabha and Krishnagunj Assembly seats on February 13, BJP on Wednesday demanded deployment of no less than 160 companies of Central paramilitary forces in electoral booths.
BJP national secretary and Bengal observer Siddharth Nath Singh submitted a letter to the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sunil Gupta on Wednesday, stating that the party was apprehensive following media reports that less number of companies of Central force would be deployed at the booths.
“It was earlier discussed that at least 160 companies of CAPF was supposed to be deployed… but as the heresay goes, enforcement falls much below the stipulated target, which means, you will have to be dependent on the local police, who under the guidance of the ruling party are prone to help rigging,” Singh said in the letter.
The letter also alleged that the ruling party had a history of indulging in mass voter identity card snatching and blocking voters from reaching booths and thus demanded a route march by CAPF in various sensitive villages and sealing of border areas.
Further, the letter also asked the CEO to ensure that all the booths be kept under CCTV surveillance because the alternative of deploying micro observers can often lead to wastage of time when it comes to preventing malpractices. It also demanded a list of sensitive booths to be handed over to the CEO soon.
“The CEO has assured that more forces would be coming in. He had also said that area domination would begin from February 6 and other officials would arrive 2-3 days in advance. The Central Election Commission is also serious about it which is evident because against the normal practice of sending one central observer, four of them would be sent for the two constituencies – three for Bongaon and one for Krishnagunj,” Singh said.
Singh added that the BJP is sure that TMC would create trouble in these areas. “We anticipate trouble because the TMC is desperate and would try all strategies to stop the rise of BJP here,” he said
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