New Central Police Observer Reaches Kolkata

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Kolkata: Vivek Dubey, who replaced former BSF director general R K Sharma as the central police observer for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal arrived in the city Sunday.

According to Election Commission sources, Dubey, a 1981 batch IPS officer, would meeti representatives of different political parties separately on Monday morning.

He would also hold video conferences with district magistrates and superintendents of police of eight districts which are slated to have Lok Sabha polls in the first three phases, the sources said.

Ruling Trinamool Congress and the CPI(M) had objected to the appointment of Sharma on grounds of neutrality.

Dubey would also be looking into the deployment of central and state forces during the elections, the source said.

Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal will be held in seven phases. The first, second and third phases of the polls are scheduled on April 11, April 18 and April 23.

The Election Commission has decided to deploy 10 companies of the Central Forces for the first two phases of elections. Polls will be held in Alipurduar and Cooch Behar in the first phase on April 11 while the second phase will see elections in Darjeeling, Raiganj and Jalpaiguri on April 18.

The 10 companies of the Central Forces that are deployed in North and South 24-Parganas, Murshidabad, Malda, North Dinajpur, East Midnapore, Birbhum, West Burdwan and Kolkata since March 16 would be used for the first two phases of elections on April 11 and 18 respectively in Alipurduar and Cooch Behar and Darjeeling, Raigunj and Jalpaiguri.