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CAPF deployment for phase 2 of polls in Bengal to increase to 303 companies

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Kolkata, April 20: Taking lessons from reports of sporadic violence in the first phase of Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal on Friday, especially at Cooch Behar, the Election Commission of India (ECI) is set to increase the deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) for the second phase on April 26.

Three constituencies — Raiganj, Darjeeling and Balurghat — will be going for polls in the second phase and the commission has decided to deploy a total 303 companies of CAPF, insiders from the office of the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), West Bengal said.

Already, 273 companies of CAPF are in West Bengal and additional 30 companies are supposed to arrive in the state by Sunday, thus taking the total deployment in West Bengal to 303. The additional 30 companies are mainly coming from Sikkim and Meghalaya, CEO office insiders said.

The additional forces are being brought amidst the irritation expressed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee when on Friday, she launched a scathing attack against the Election Commission of India (ECI) for the latter’s emphasis on the CAPF over the state police.

“How can you conduct the polls by totally discarding the state police? Is this a ploy to ensure that people don’t vote freely,” the Chief Minister had questioned while addressing an election rally on Friday.

IANS

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