Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora addresses a press conference, in Kolkata, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.
Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora addresses a press conference, in Kolkata, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.
PTI / Swapan Mahapatra

Kolkata: After his three-day visit to West Bengal, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Friday assured deployment of central forces in poll-bound West Bengal.

“We had an in-depth interaction with political parties. Most had concerns about the law and order situation. I don’t believe that any political party is using manpower or muscle power to influence the voter but I will definitely deploy central forces as much as possible,” mentioned Arora.

Rubbishing BJP’s claim that Rohingyas in large numbers are in the voter list because the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) had allegedly given them citizenship, Arora said that there is no such evidence in the list.

The Chief Election Commissioner also nullified the claim of the ruling Trinamool Congress that the BSF is intimidating people to vote for the BJP.

“The BSF is not involved in influencing anyone. BSF is one of the finest forces. It is unfortunate that the TMC had made such averments about the security personnel. I have asked for concrete instances. After consulting with the Chief Secretary, DGP, and the Home Secretary of West Bengal, the ECI had decided that civic volunteers won’t be allowed to execute any poll related activities in West Bengal,” mentioned Arora.

The Chief Election Commissioner also added that keeping in mind the ongoing pandemic, the number of polling stations has been increased.

“Earlier West Bengal had 78,903 polling stations. Now the state has 1,01,790 polling stations. All polling stations shall be at the ground floor level,” added CEC.

The full bench of the Central Election Commission also held talks to discuss over ways to make persons with disabilities cast their votes.

According to the sources at the Election Commission, the dates of the election are likely to be announced either by January end or the first week of February.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in