Kolkata: In yet another setback for the State Election Commission (SEC), Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court TS Sivagnanam on Wednesday asked the State Election Commissioner Rajiva Sinha to send requisition for more companies of central forces than even 2013 rural polls in West Bengal.
According to High Court sources, the Chief Justice had given the State Election Commissioner 24 hours to send the requisition for the central forces to be deployed across the state.
“In case the State Election Commissioner cannot do the needful then he can step down from his post and the Governor is there to select a new commissioner,” said the court sources quoting the CJ.
The court also questioned why the commission is not satisfied despite the fact that the cost of the central forces will be borne by the central government.
The Calcutta High Court took up two contempt of court applications filed by Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari and Congress state president Adhir Ranjan Chaudhury against the West Bengal government and State Election Commission, alleging non-compliance with an earlier order of the High Court on June 15 regarding deployment of paramilitary forces during the election period.
Lesser forces than 2013
In 2013 rural polls 825 companies of central forces were deployed in five-phase rural polls. This year after a setback from the Supreme Court, the SEC had sent requisition of only 22 paramilitary forces across the state which means one company of central force in each district.
“The Election Commissioner is behaving like the servant of Mamata Banerjee. The High Court has restored democracy,” Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari said.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said, “Though nothing can be commented about the court's order, it seems that the order is just the version of what opposition is demanding. Nobody is talking about peaceful nomination filing in 61,000 booths but is speaking about a few stray incidents.”