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LS polls: ECI seeks list of sensitive booths in Bengal

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Kolkata, Feb 22: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has immediately sought a list of sensitive booths in West Bengal for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls this year, sources have said.

State government sources said the seeking of the list even before the election dates are announced is a clear indication that there will be early deployment of Central Armed Police Forces in different pockets of the state for the purpose of total area domination much before the actual date of the polls.

Sources from the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), West Bengal said the commission has also sought details of the booths that were identified as sensitive in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections.

The development is significant since the full-bench of the ECI will be visiting West Bengal in the first week of March to take a stock of the situation as regards to poll-preparedness. As per the latest schedule, the full-bench will arrive on March 4 and on the next day their representatives will be holding meetings with top bureaucrats and police officials in the state.

“Probably, the full-bench wants to start the discussion with the state’s administrative machinery on the poll preparedness with details of the sensitive booths ready, and the commission has immediately sought the list on this count,” said a senior state government official who did not wish to be named.

Recently, there have been two developments from which it is clear that West Bengal is under the special scanner of the ECI in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.

First, the commission has sought deployment of 920 companies of the Central Armed Forces in West Bengal for the Lok Sabha polls, which is the highest among all Indian states.

Secondly, the ECI has rejected the state government’s first choice for the nodal officer for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

IANS

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