EC likely to deploy 134 Central Force companies for 2nd phase
Kolkata: The Election Commission (EC) is likely to deploy 134 companies of Central Forces for the second phase of Lok Sabha elections in the state, which is scheduled to be held on April 18. Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling and Raigunj will go to polls on the day.
Sources in the office of the Bengal Chief Electoral Officer said that at present there are 83 companies of Central Forces in the state, of which 2 companies will be kept in Cooch Behar and Alipurduar for guarding the strong rooms.
The remaining 81 companies have already started their movement in the three seats for the second phase. In addition to this, the state has already got the commitment of 25 more companies from other states, which will take the number to 106.
"We already have six companies of Central Forces stationed in Darjeeling, which will take the number to 112 companies. In addition to this, we have requisitioned for another 28 companies, for which the Election Commission has made a verbal commitment," a source in the CEO's office said.
The 25 additional companies of forces which are likely to reach the state by Sunday evening, include 10 companies from Meghalaya Armed Police, 5 companies from Nagaland Police, 8 companies from Sikkim and 2 from Tripura.
There are a total of 5,390 booths in the second phase. In Darjeeling, 90 percent of the 874 booths are sensitive. The Commission is hoping to deploy Central Forces in all the booths in the second phase, to ensure peaceful elections. The state armed police will also be deployed.
Additional CEO Sanjoy Basu said on Friday that the final poll percentage in Cooch Behar stood at 83.88, while in Alipurduar it is 83.7. The poll percentage in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections was 82.62 and 83.3 respectively for Cooch Behar and Alipurduar.
Meanwhile, Special Police Observer Vivek Dubey held a meeting with Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajesh Kumar at the Kolkata Port Trust guest house. Sources said that Dubey has instructed Kumar to have proper security arrangements in place for Ram Navami on Sunday, April 14.
"A number of rallies will take place in the city during Ram Navami. The political parties will also hold campaigns. So we have to take all possible measures to ensure that both can be held smoothly," a senior Kolkata Police official said.