Anantnag bypoll: MHA less than half ready for Election Commission’s security demand
Last week, the EC had asked the home ministry that 740 companies of paramilitary forces be put at its disposal by May 12.Updated: May 02, 2017 01:35 IST
The Union home ministry has informed the Election Commission that it can spare around 30,000 paramilitary personnel for bypoll duty in Anantnag Lok Sabha seat on May 25, less than half of the demanded 74,000.
A home ministry official said the EC has been told that around 300 companies of paramilitary personnel could be arranged for deployment during bypoll in Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir. A company of paramilitary comprises around 100 personnel.
The EC’s response to the home ministry’s offer is yet to be known.
Last week, the EC had asked the home ministry that 740 companies of paramilitary forces be put at its disposal by May 12.
The demand seemed unprecedented as the poll body had sought 70,000 paramilitary forces for deployment in the recently concluded Assembly elections in five states, including Uttar Pradesh, which has 403 Assembly constituencies and 80 Lok Sabha seats.
Earlier, the EC had sought 30,000 paramilitary personnel for the bypoll to Srinagar and Anantnag Lok Sabha seats.
While polling in Srinagar was held on April 9 amidst massive violence, voting in Anantnag, which was scheduled for April 12, was postponed to May 25.
In normal circumstances around 10 companies (1,000 personnel) are deployed in a parliamentary seat during polling, officials said.
There are around 10 lakh paramilitary personnel under the home ministry’s command, but it is difficult to assemble them from different parts of the country on such a short notice, the official said.
The PDP, J&K’s ruling coalition partner, has urged the EC to defer indefinitely the bypoll to the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency in the wake of the “volatile situation” prevailing there.