The Election Commission has summoned West Bengal’s Chief Election Officer Ariz Aftab to discuss plans for arrange the upcoming State Assembly Election.
Aftab will present the primary report of when the much-talked-about Bengal polls can be conducted. Reportedly, it will be after this meeting that the dates and the procedure of the election are likely to be announced.
According to a report carried by Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika, EC is interested in following the Bihar model while holding the polls in Bengal due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation.
As a result, the number of booths can go upto one lakh or more from the existing 78,000. Not more than 1,000 citizens would be allowed at a single polling station.
The final decision about this will be taken when the EC full bench, led by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, meets West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay and Home Secretary Harikrishna Dwivedi in Kolkata on Friday.
The full bench of EC held a meeting with representatives of all the important political parties in Kolkata on Thursday.
Dilip Ghosh and Mukul Roy led the saffron camp, while Partha Chattapadhyay, Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee and Subrata Bakshi were the voices of West Bengal’s governning party in the meet. CPIM was represented by Robin Dev.
Reportedly, the main talking point for BJP was to ensure heavy presence of central forces across the state during the upcoming West Bengal Assembly Election.
“As the main opposition party, we have demanded from Election Commission to make sure citizens can vote in a safe environment,” said Ghosh while addressing the press after meeting EC.
TMC, on the other hand, told the press that it had brought EC’s attention into how the BSF allegedly pressurises the voters to “vote for a particular party” in Bengal’s border regions.
“We have complete trust on Election Commission. Still we have brought its attention to several facts and discuss them. We want immediate solution to all of them” Partha Chattopadhyay said.
“At the border, the BSF officials are visiting village after village and putting pressure on the voters to vote for a particular party. They’re saying ‘if you don’t vote for that party, we’ll not provide you security. After all, it’ll be us who would be posted here.
“This is a dangerous complaint. The Election Commission should immediately intervene,” the Minister for Education and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs of the Government of West Bengal added.