The West Bengal government on Thursday said it would request the Centre for an additional 30 companies of para-military forces to hold the IPL match here on May four as the date was close to the Lok Sabha polls in the state scheduled on May seven.
"Our hands are tied. Our first priority is elections. Our second priority is elections. Unless some additional forces are present, the match on May four may not be held. We want 30 additional companies of para-military," Chief Secretary Asok Mohan Chakraborty told reporters after a high-level meeting to work out a response to the revised schedule sent to the state by the Union Home Ministry.
Stating that the government was not taking any chances in the wake of attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore, he said 4,000 policemen would be needed for each day of the matches. Of these, 3,000 would be posted in the grounds.
The Home Secretary said the union government was creating a central pool of security forces for the elections, drawing personnel from all the state forces. "We do not yet know its strength or composition."
According to the revised dates sent to the state government, the IPL matches here have been scheduled on April 11, 14, 16, 21, 26 and May 2, and 4. Lok Sabha elections in the state are scheduled on April 30, May 7 and 13.
"I do not know if the matches can be held at all if the Kolkata Police personnel are deployed elsewhere for election duty," the Home Secretary said.