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LS polls: CAPF deployment for 4th phase in Bengal to increase

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Shillong, May 1: As many as 597 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) will be deployed in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal on May 13, which will be around 47 per cent higher than the figure of 406 companies to be deployed in the third phase on May 7.

Sources in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said that while in the third phase, booth sensitivity in two constituencies is the only concern for the Election Commission, in the fourth phase both booth sensitivity and higher number of constituencies going to the polls are the factors.

In the third phase on May 7, four constituencies namely Maldaha-Uttar, Maldaha-Dakshin in Malda district and Jangipur and Murshidabad in Murshidabad district are going to polls. Keeping the records of poll-related violence at Jangipur and Murshidabad, the Commission has decided to deploy 406 companies of CAPF in the third phase, the maximum of which will be for these two constituencies, CEO office insiders said.

In the fourth phase, eight Lok Sabha constituencies — Baharampur in Murshidabad district, Krishnanagar and Ranaghat in Nadia district, Bolpur and Birbhum in Birbhum district, Bardhaman-Purba in East Burdwan district and Bardhaman-Durgapur and Asansol in West Burdwan district — are going to polls.

“The higher number of constituencies going to polls in the fourth phase is itself a factor. The additional factor is the presence of disturbed pockets in constituencies like Baharampur, Bolpur and Birbhum to a large extent and Krishnanagar and Asansol to some extent. Considering these two factors, the Commission has decided to increase CAPF deployment to 597 companies in the fourth phase,” a CEO office insider said.

To recall, the ECI has already announced that a total of 920 companies of CAPF will be deployed in West Bengal in phases, which will be the highest deployment among all Indian states. West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are the only three states which are witnessing seven-phase polls this time. (IANS)

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