BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said that the party may knock the door of the Calcutta High Court tomorrow appealing for deployment of the Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPF) for conducting free and fair panchayat poll.
Mr Ghosh said that chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s government is seeking other police forces from Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha but ignoring the deployment of the Central forces which is a mysterious and suspicious act of the government.
“People will overcome fear and cast their vote if any Central force like the Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) will be deployed to guard the booths during panchayat election. Why Miss Banerjee is bypassing the Central force issue, is a major concern for us,” said Mr Ghosh.
The state government has yesterday written to five states namely Odisha, Assam, Punjab, Telengana and Andhra Pradesh to send armed forces to Bengal for holding the single-day poll on 14 May. The Opposition parties, however, are not ready to take the development into consideration unless the commissioner placed a full proof plan of the availability of armed forces.
Opposition parties in West Bengal yesterday met the State Election Commission (SEC) to express their grievances over the upcoming single-phase panchayat polls and the security arrangements of the same. Apart from the Opposition Congress, BJP and Left parties, the ruling TMC also met the poll body and discussed the security and election arrangements for the upcoming polls, sources said.
Mr Ghosh also said that the state BJP is not happy at all with the security arrangements for the elections.
“The state does not have adequate forces to hold the elections in one day. The result of yesterday’s meeting was zero,” said Mr Ghosh.
CPI-M leader Rabin Deb said that his party had demanded that the elections be held in three phases when a meeting was held in this regard on 21 April. “We told the SEC that one phase election will only lead to violence,” he said.
The Congress delegation blamed the SEC and the state government for its alleged failure to provide adequate security during the filing of nominations.
Meanwhile, the state BJP also alleged that a pregnant woman supporter was severely injured when some TMC-backed goons entered her residence at Belghoria near Shantipur in Nadia and beat up her. “The woman supporter was the relative of a BJP panchayat candidate. Goons beat her as they were unable to catch the BJP panchayat candidate. She was rushed to a hospital in Kolkata,” said a BJP leader.