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800 companies of CAPF may be deployed for phase 2

The second phase will see polling in 30 assembly constituencies spread across four districts namely Bankura, West Midnapore, East Midnapore and South 24 Parganas. Attention, however, will be on Nandigram, where chief minister Mamata Banerjee faces her former lieutenant Suvendu Adhikari.

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

A huge contingent of around 800 companies of central forces are likely to be deployed during the second phase of elections in West Bengal scheduled on 1 April.

The second phase will see polling in 30 assembly constituencies spread across four districts namely Bankura, West Midnapore, East Midnapore and South 24 Parganas. Attention, however, will be on Nandigram, where chief minister Mamata Banerjee faces her former lieutenant Suvendu Adhikari.

According to Election Commission sources there will be an adequate number of both CAPF and state police personnel in the districts where polling will be held. Likewise in the previous phase, CAPF personnel will be deployed both inside the polling booths and in a radius of 100m. They would also be kept as reserve in case any incident occurs.

In fact CAPF would be deployed for polling duty, for polling station guarding and will be a part of the quick response team. The state police have been asked to work in close tandem with the central forces.

As per force deployment plan, 194 companies would be deployed in four centres of South 24 Parganas, 189 in nine centres of East Midnapore, 198 in nine centres of West Midnapore and 161 in eight centres of Bankura.

Earlier, it was decided to deploy 697 companies of CAPF in the first phase. However, late this evening, ECI decided to increase it to around 800.

The decision comes on a day when a Trinamul Congress delegation met the CEO and urged not to deploy armed police forces from UP, MP, Bihar, and any other BJP/NDA ruled state to ensure that there is no partisan act by central forces.

The Trinamul delegation said that Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, Cabinet minister of Bihar Syed Sehnawaz Hussain and other BJP leaders are star campaigners in Bengal elections and MP Police and UP Police report to CM Chouhan and CM Yogi, respectively.

Therefore, to ensure no partisan activity during the elections, armed forces from these states or any state where BJP/NDA is in power should not be deployed in West Bengal on election duty.