A day before the court is to decide on the date of holding the panchayat polls, scheduled on 14 May, the state government is yet to receive any assurance from the five states that it had requested for forces.
Several rounds of meetings were held by senior bureaucrats in Nabanna throughout the day to finalise the security plan.
Finally, a high- level meeting was convened by chief secretary Malay De and top bureaucrats and police officials to prepare a blueprint on deployment of forces in all the polling booths as well as other places on the day of elections.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee who reached Nabanna directly from Delhi this afternoon later met Mr De and other officials.
Officials who attended the meeting were tight-lipped on the proceedings saying the matter is in the jurisdiction of the state election commissioner AK Singh.
“We have not received any reply from any of the states though we wrote to them almost a week ago,” said a Nabanna source.
The state government submitted its final report on the security arrangements tonight to the commission.
Following demands of the Opposition parties and several organisations, the election commission is also considering to bring polling booths under CCTV coverage as much as possible.
“Several Opposition parties and organisations have demanded that all polling booths should be brought under the CCTV coverage and the SEC is considering this. But nothing have been matured so far in this regard,” sources in the commission said.
On the issue of whether deployment of Central forces is the only option left before the state government for conducting the polls, a top official said that the state government is prepared to conduct the polls with the existing strength of personnel as it has come up with a plan for proper utilisation of forces.
In 2013, a total of 342 companies of Central forces were deployed for conducting panchayat polls as a result of which an elaborate security arrangment was brought into force. The commission is in favour of a similar plan this year as well.
The commission has asked the state government to submit a detailed report based on this district- wise category classification by 7 May.
Both the state government and commission are depending on the fact that there will be no polls in around 18 percent of polling stations as well as polling booths so policemen can be deployed elsewhere.
Polls would not be held in 11,016 out of 58,58467 polling booths and 8105 out of 43067 polling premises. The state has 46,000 armed policemen. The number of sensitive and very sensitive booths are more than 32,000.
In addition state administration is expecting deployment from the 23,000 personnel of Kolkata police as well as personnel with arms training from state excise, correctional administration and forest departments.
Meanwhile, five representatives including writer Mandacranta Sen of Save Democracy met the SEC on Thursday requesting the latter to conduct votes in polling stations under the security coverage to keep watch on the every movement of proceedings across the state.
With the assembling of the members of the Save Democracy police once again beefed up security arrangements in front of the commission office on Rowdon Street on Thursday. Sensing fresh trouble police imposed Section 144 for about four hours from 1 p.m.