Central Forces will be Deployed in WB Poll: EC

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Kolkata: The Election Commission said on Thursday that to hold the next year’s Assembly polls in West Bengal in free, fair and peaceful manner and deploy central forces and IT-enabled efficient and smart observers for smooth conduct of election process.

“The Election Commission will perform its constitutional obligations and ensure that the Assembly elections in West Bengal are held in free, fair and peaceful manner,” Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi told a press conference here after a series of meetings with officials and political parties.

“There will be 100 per cent availability of central paramilitary forces in all the polling stations. They will be available well in advance and be used for area domination and confidence-building measures,” he said.

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“The Election Commission-appointed observers will be looking into the boothwise, areawise deployment of the central forces and the observers will be from outside the state,” he added.

Asked how the EC will ensure free and fair polls as there are allegations from opposition parties of violence during the Lok Sabha poll, Zaidi said, “As Lok Sabha elections are held throughout the country, the availability of central forces was less. But this time central paramilitary forces will be deployed at every booth. The CPFs will be deployed and supervised directly by the ECI.”

On the law and order situation in the state, Zaidi said, “We came here to assess the situation. We have already directed our election machinery to take note of, record and document any incident with political overtones.”

Asked how the EC plans to hold a violence-free election as previous polls in Bengal were marred by violence, the CEC said, “As I mentioned, every time the Election commission has raised the bar and this time also it will be our endeavour to make the election peaceful in the state”.