Deputy election commissioner oversees poll preparedness in Bengal

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(Eds: Updating with fresh inputs) Kolkata, Dec 17 (PTI) Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain on Thursday held parleys with political parties and district officials to review the preparedness for the 2021 assembly polls in West Bengal.

The ruling Trinamool Congress told him that the use of 'cheap, Bahubali type language by the BJP' was challenging the authority of the poll body, while saffron party flagged the issue of names of dead people figuring in voter lists, sources said.

The state chief electoral officer said that Jain, who arrived in the city on Wednesday night, interacted with district magistrates and superintendents of police of 14 districts via video conference and asked them to report any incident of political violence to the EC henceforth.

Jain also urged the district officials to keep a tab on vulnerable booths from now on and coordinate with the EC.

For COVID-19 safety protocols, the EC asked the officials to follow the model of Bihar, where the assembly poll was held recently in the pandemic situation.

The deputy election commissioner also met representatives from different political parties and heard their views.

TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee later told reporters that the party had informed the EC about 'unconstitutional, Bahubali type words' being used by BJP leaders against TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and other party leaders.

'We said that this type of language challenges the right and authority of EC,' Chatterjee said.

BJP leader Sisir Bajoria demanded deployment of central forces in the state before the commencement of elections. He said the names of dead persons still figure in voters' list which will be of help to the TMC and urged the EC to ensure that such names are deleted immediately.

CPI-M leader Samik Lahiri said on an average 3-5 per cent of the names in each booth are of of dead voters and this has to be immediately looked into.

The EC is slated to meet state officials on Friday.

Assembly polls are slated to be held in the state in April-May next year. PTI SUS KK NN NN