West Bengal

Full bench of Election Commission arrives in Kolkata

Chief Election Commissioner of India Sunil Arora.   | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar

The full bench of the Election Commission of India led by Chief Election Commissioner of India (CEC) Sunil Arora arrived in city on Wednesday. Mr. Arora is accompanied Election Commissioners Rajiv Kumar and Sushil Chandra, and on Thursday the Commission will meet representatives of different political parties and officials of the Central and State regulatory agencies.

“In the post lunch session, a review meeting will be held with divisional commissioners, district election commissioners, zonal and range IGs, SPs and CPs on issues related to conduct of the upcoming Assembly elections,” a press statement said.

On Friday, 22 January, the Commission will meet Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay, Home Secretary H.K. Dwivedi, Director General of Police Virendra, and other senior officials. The Commission will address media on the poll preparedness on Friday. Apart from the law and order situation, the Commission is likely to look at other aspects of the elections.

There are apprehensions in political circles that the elections in the State may witness violence as has been the case in the past. The most important issue that the Commission will have to deal with is the deployment of Central Armed Police Forces. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, about 700 companies of Central Forces were deployed, and political parties in the Opposition are demanding more central forces this year.

There are also demands that the number of polling booths be increased from 78,000 to nearly 1 lakh. The senior Bharatiya Janata Party leadership as well leaders of the Left parties and Congress have expressed their lack of confidence in senior police and administrative officers of the State. The State’s Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has on several occasions also emphasised that all steps need to be taken to ensure free and fair polls.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 3:20:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/west-bengal-assembly/full-bench-of-election-commission-arrives-in-kolkata/article33619805.ece

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