With escalating political violence and the fear perception created by the Left Wing Extremists (LWE) in the State ahead of the Assembly polls, the West Bengal government has sought a very significant increase in the number of Central forces during the poll process and has asked for a part of the forces to be sent as an advance team two months before the elections scheduled to be held by early-June.
Home Secretary G. D. Gautama told reporters at the State Secretariat that during last week's discussions with the full bench of the Election Commission, the State government had asked for 800 companies of Central forces, against the 600 companies during the 2006 Assembly elections. This marks a 33 per cent increase and would be over and above the 41 companies of the Central Reserve Police Force currently deployed in the Jangal Mahal area.
He said that a 10 per cent increase in the number of booths, the LWE problem and the increase in political violence had led the State to place a request for 798 companies of Central forces. The decision is likely to be finalised by the EC and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.