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Bengal bypolls: BJP urges EC to deploy 90 companies of central forces

The BJP on Wednesday urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to deploy a minimum of 90 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) for the bypolls to three Assembly constituencies in West Bengal scheduled on September 30.

Bengal bypolls: BJP urges EC to deploy 90 companies of central forces
Election Commission of India office. File photo

New Delhi

A BJP delegation submitted a memorandum to the poll panel demanding the deployment of at least 40 companies of CAPF in Bhabanipur from where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting, and at least 25 companies in each of the other two Assembly constituencies in Samserganj and Jangipur.

BJP national General Secretary Arun Singh, MPs Swapan Dasgupta and Locket Chatterjee, and party leaders Sanjay Mayukh, Om Pathak, Shishir Bajoria and Neeraj signed the memorandum.

"A CAPF deployment of only 15 companies per Assembly constituency has been sent, which is grossly inadequate, especially in Bhabanipur where unelected Chief Minister Banerjee is contesting for survival. The Trinamool Congress has deployed its entire strength of hooligans," the BJP memorandum said.

The BJP claimed that the Trinamool, its office-bearers, ministers and other senior functionaries are now preparing to abuse the state's resources in support of Banerjee.

The BJP also alleged that the officials who were shifted out by the Commission, either for completing three years in a post or for being found unfit for conducting free and fair polls, have been brought back in the three Constituencies by the Trinamool, demanding that they should be immediately transferred out of the Kolkata district.

"Hoardings, posters and banners with photos of Chief Minister Banerjee should immediately be removed from all government and municipal sites from the KMC area," the BJP demanded.

Citing Covid, the BJP urged the ECI that the presence of the agents of the candidates inside the polling booths should be restricted only to the national parties, while all other polling agents should be seated outside the booths.

"Firhad Hakim, a state minister and administrator of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), who is a close confidante and an undeclared election agent of Banerjee, should be debarred from participating in the poll process in any form and be relieved from his charge of KMC until the conclusion of the elections in Bhabanipur, an area falling within the limits of KMC," the BJP further demanded.

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