By bappaditya paul
WEST BENGAL STATE ELECTION COMMISSION (SEC) has convened a high level meeting with Bengal government officials on 11 April to discuss security arrangements for the coming civic polls in Kolkata and in another 91 civic bodies in the state.
The move comes a day after the Centre declined sending troops for the civic polls and the poll panel said that it was now left with no other option but to conduct the elections by deploying state police only.
According to state election commissioner Sushanta Ranjan Upadhaya, they have requested the state Home Secretary, the director general of police, the additional director general (law and order) and the Kolkata Police Commissioner to attend the meet on 11 April.
“We have received the list of sensitive polling booths for Kolkata and most of the civic poll-bound districts. Based on this, during Saturday’s meeting we will assess the number of police personnel required for the polls and the actual strength that the state will be able to facilitate. The scale of police deployment will be decided then,” Mr Upadhaya told reporters on Thursday afternoon.
A delegation of the BJP that called on the poll commissioner earlier on Thursday afternoon blamed the Bengal government for approaching the Union government very late for Central troops.
“It was because of the state’s half-hearted and delayed move that the Centre has not been able to provide troops for the civic polls. We have demanded that the Commission should defer the polls until a good number of Central forces are made available,” Asim Sarkar, the leader of the BJP delegation, told reporters.
At a Press meet at state BJP headquarters, state president Rahul Sinha said that the poll panel should utilise the Central troops that are already there in the state on other purposes.