EC considering deploying record 1000 companies of central forces for WB assembly poll

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Kolkata, Jan 25 (PTI) The Election Commission is considering deploying a record 1000 companies of central forces to ensure peaceful and violence-free polling in the coming Assembly elections in West Bengal, an EC official said on Monday.

The central forces when deployed will work in tandem with the state police during the state poll due in April-May, he said.

The rise in the number of polling booths from 78,903 during the last Lok Sabha elections in 2019 to a probable 1,01,790 now was a reason for considering such a measure, the official told PTI.

This time we are considering deploying 1,000 or more companies of central forces. If we deploy such a large number of forces, this will be a record,' he said.

'Since there is a substantial rise in the number of polling booths in the state there will be a proportionate increase in the deployment of central forces,' he added.

The EC is also considering considering using a new mechanism in which the central forces will work in close coordination with the state forces in the coming election, he said.

The full bench of the EC visited the state last week to look into the poll preparedness.

The EC official said that there has been a quantum increase in the number of polling booths following the return of a large number of people to West Bengal due to the COVID-19 pandemic. PTI SCH KK KK KK