Part of the reinforcement of central troops for West Bengal may be diverted to Assam, which goes to the polls on April 4.

West Bengal, which had asked for 798 companies of central forces for pre-poll duties, has already received an advance contingent of 100 companies. Almost 30 per cent of the deployment was to be done in the left-wing extremism areas.

The forces are being used for route marches, area domination exercises, and also for helping to maintain law and order . Another reinforcement of 100 companies was slated to arrive from Saturday.

Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh told journalists at the Secretariat that there would be intra-State movement of troops between Assam and West Bengal (where a six-phase polling would commence on April 18).

To a question on Speaker H. A. Halim's comment that he should have been consulted by the Election Commission on the poll dates, Mr. Ghosh said this announcement was made by the EC in its own right.

Mr. Ghosh said that while Ministers could participate in question-answer sessions, they could not make new announcements now.

Asked whether the Chief Minister can go on district tours, he said: “If there is a law an order problem, he can certainly go.”