The West Bengal Election Commission Thursday said only three companies of central forces had been made available against the demand of 50 for the April 18 Kolkata Municipal Corporation polls, campaigning for which ended today.
“Such a small contingent could only be utilised for route march or area domination, specially in the sensitive pockets.
There is a huge gap between the requirement and what has been allotted. So there could be a gap in confidence building measures,” said S R Upadhyay, State Election Commissioner (SEC).
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Upadhyay said that he had already drawn up a force deployment strategy in consultation with top officials of the city police. The SEC said he had also called on Governor K N Tripathi to apprise him of the entire arrangement. He also informed the Governor of some recent incidents of violence including attack on BJP leader Rupa Ganguly and armed threat in the Cossipore area in north Kolkata.
“So far 80 cases of violence have been lodged with the police in Kolkata alone, besides 150 cases of violence registered with state police ahead of the civic polls to 91 municipalities on April 25,” Upadhyay said.
Altogether 15 observers and three special observers would directly monitor the entire polling process in the city.
Nearly 38 lakh voters would exercise their franchise on April 18 civic polls to 144 ward-Kolkata Municipal Corporation, while a total of 1077 candidates would try their luck.
Polling in the KMC would be held in 4,704 polling stations under 1516 polling premises. Of them 535 polling premises have been identified as sensitive, Upadhyay said.
Altogether 320 polling premises would be brought under video coverage, while webcam would also remain operational in many polling stations.