BJP Asks EC To Declare West Bengal A Sensitive State

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New Delhi: The BJP asked the Election Commission on Wednesday to declare West Bengal, which sends 42 MPs to the Lok Sabha, a sensitive state during the upcoming general election.

Among the provisions the BJP wants is a media observer and the deployment of central forces in all booths.

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“We have conveyed to the commission that Bengal’s track record in free and fair elections is very, very deplorable,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.

He pointed to the killings during local body and gram panchayat elections, the stamping of ballot papers during counting, and the fact that helicopters ferrying BJP leaders were not allowed to land.

West Bengal is governed by the All India Trinamool Congress, or TMC. Its leader, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, is a fierce critic of the BJP.

“The observers must give independent feedback to the Election Commission and not the ex-parte, coloured report of the government of Bengal,” Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

He said central forces should be deployed in every booth in West Bengal. “That deployment should be done not on the recommendation of the local SP or collector, but by the special observer of the Election Commission,” he said.

“There are certain officers who are known to be very, very biased towards the ruling dispensation. We have given their names. They should be entirely withdrawn from the election-related work.” he said.