The full bench of the Election Commission held a meeting with representatives of all the significant politiical parties in Kolkata on Thursday.
The full bench, led by led by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, arrived in Kolkata on Wednesday evening from poll-bound Assam. Arora is accompanied by Election Commissioners Sushil Chandra and Rajiv Kumar, among others.
In the meeting, the full bench heard suggestions from representatives of TMC, BJP, CPIM and Congress.
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.
Adding that central forces should be introduced in the state before the polls begin to stop political violence, the Bengal BJP chief said, “We also want central forces to be deployed inside the booths and state police outside.”
On the other hand, TMC is believed to have not given their nod to Ghosh’s suggestion. Chattopadhyay took a jibe at him and asked how BJP’s vote share went up when there were no central forces inside the booths during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, reported ABP Ananda.
Meanwhile, the EC full bench will also be holding meetings with Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Aftab and Additional Director-General (Law and Order) Gyanwant Singh, who is also the nodal officer of the state police.
The EC officials are scheduled to meet the divisional commissioners, district election officers and senior police officers as well, sources in the state poll panel said.
They will also be sitting with West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, Home Secretary HK Dwivedi, DGP Virendra and other senior officials regarding the security arrangements during the polls.
They will be leaving for Delhi on Friday.
The assembly elections in West Bengal are likely in April-May.
With PTI inputs