Kolkata: Even before the dates of the Assembly polls are announced, twelve companies of central forces will be deployed in West Bengal from February 20. At least 125 more central troops will reach West Bengal on February 25 to ensure law and order in the poll-bound West Bengal.
According to news agency PTI, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to deploy as many troops as possible to ensure free and fair elections. "The Election Commission of India has decided to deploy 125 companies of central forces in poll-bound West Bengal by February 25. The forces will lay stress on area domination, especially in sensitive zones," a senior official said.
Notably, the West Bengal BJP leaders had time-and-again requested the Central government and also met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora to deploy troops in the poll-bound West Bengal to avoid untoward incidents.
Incidentally, with both the BJP and the TMC maligning each other for killing their cadres, West Bengal has a history of poll-violence. Violence was seen across the state during both rural polls in 2018 and parliamentary elections in 2019 leaving several leaders of both BJP and the TMC dead.
A nodal officer of the central force is also scheduled to meet the ruling Trinamool Congress government to request the West Bengal state government to make arrangements for the central troops in the state abiding by the COVID-19 protocols.
According to sources, soon after reaching West Bengal the central troops will start their march at different parts of the state to build confidence amongst the common people.
The sources also confirmed that the full bench of the Central Election Commission will visit West Bengal soon to announce the election dates that are likely to take place in the month of April-May.
It is pertinent to mention that last month after a three-day visit to West Bengal, CEC Sunil Arora assured deployment of central forces in poll-bound West Bengal.
The Chief Election Commissioner also mentioned that keeping in mind the ongoing pandemic, the number of polling stations has been increased.