BJP asks ECI to deploy CAPF a fortnight before polling day in Bengal
As elections in West Bengal are inching closer, the state's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unit has written a letter to the Election Commission of India (ECI), urging that the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) must be deployed at least 15 days before polling day.
It also said that live webcasting should be made available inside critical polling stations and its feed should be made available to political parties.
On the current law and order situation in the state, the BJP West Bengal Unit stated: "State-sponsored, legitimised fear, anarchy and lawlessness by the state police at the behest and bidding of AITC negates the very role of police for providing safety and security to its people."
Alleging that a large-scale demoralisation has set in among many honest civil servants, the BJP said: "Political neutrality of public servants also stands severely dented, cutting at the very roots of the principles of non-partisan civil services. The civil services stand divide and labelled as being either the "loyals" or the "renegades"."
It asserted that the situation in West Bengal is very "alarming". "We urge the Election Commission of India to view arrangements for the forthcoming Assembly Elections in the perspective and prepare accordingly to ensure a level playing field, equitable, fair, free from dear elections in this important and strategically positioned state of India."
Some of the other suggestions to the poll body include -- every voter irrespective of religious beliefs must be identified beyond doubt before being allowed to vote, a special electoral roll audit must be conducted to examine the inconsistencies in the preparation of the electoral rolls and the registration process for new voters must be carried out carefully keeping in mind the possibility of infiltration in border districts, among others.
"Booth agents of political parties should not be restricted to voters of same or neighborhood booth. Any registered voter in the State of West Bengal should be eligible to become polling agents," the letter reads.
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- Bengal minister Firhad Hakim sought intervention of the poll panel and said that the usage of PM Modi’s photos were an example of misuse of official machinery.
- Elections have already been announced in West Bengal and will be held in eight phases starting from March 27.
- Gadkari, who was addressing a rally in West Bengal’s Joypur, also said the elections will decide the future of West Bengal.
- The TMC has been sharpening its attack on the BJP and has been trying to brand it as an outsider in Bengal ahead of the assembly election.
- Serious differences have appeared in the Congress over having an electoral alliance with the ISF. The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and its adversary, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have also accused the Congress and the Left parties of playing communal politics by having the cleric as an ally.