On alleged inclusion of a large number of Rohingya and Bangladeshi citizens in the voter list, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said, ‘mere allegations will not lead to action.’
Calcutta: Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora today assured to conduct a peaceful election in the upcoming West Bengal Assembly polls, saying that we have a peaceful situation in the state for the last three days. He said, ‘We have a meeting with the Director-General of Police, Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order and other senior officials, and we are keeping eyes on the situation.’
The Election Commissioner said that an important meeting on West Bengal Assembly Elections will be held in New Delhi on Saturday in which many important decisions will be taken. The full bench of the Election Commission said that during the two-day visit to Assam and West Bengal, all parties have expressed apprehension of violence during the elections.
Most political parties have proposed the Election Commission to hold elections under the supervision of central forces. He said that many political parties have complained of provocative slogans.
Demand for webcasting and videography in polling stations
The Chief Election Commissioner said that the political parties he met have demanded webcasting and videography inside polling stations. Meanwhile, some parties have expressed concern over the role of central observers. Mr. Arora said that it is the policy of the Election Commission that no officer associated with the state be made an observer.
Election Commissioner Sunil Arora told reporters that 2-2 special observers have been sent to West Bengal and Tripura. One of them will monitor the law and order situation. He said that the persons appointed as observers by the Election Commission are very capable and experienced officers.
The Election Commissioner has demanded the deployment of central forces in West Bengal before the notification, but every step in this regard will be taken under the ambit of law and there is no question of deployment of central forces in West Bengal three months ago.
“We are sitting in Delhi and monitoring the situation in the state. Compromise with law and order will not be tolerated,” he said. He said that every effort will be made to conduct free and fair elections.
He said that the Green Police and City Police personnel of Municipal Corporation would not be deployed in elections. He said that these officers have not been appointed by introducing a bill in the Assembly.
Voter list will not be reviewed
In response to a question related to alleged inclusion of large number of Rohingya and Bangladeshi citizens by the BJP in the voter list, he said that the voter list will not be revised. He said, ‘this was raised in a meeting with representatives of political parties, but we asked them to present evidence as to what evidence they had. Mere allegations will not lead to action.’
On the allegations leveled against the BSF by the Trinamool Congress, the Chief Election Commissioner said that the BSF is a very responsible central force and monitors the border and is aware of its scope. It is not that BSF is being used for political purposes.
Meanwhile, the Chief Election Commissioner said that the state police also plays an important role and maintains the law and order situation in the state.
Central force personnel will be stationed at each booth
He said that due to Coronavirus (Covid-19) the number of booths will be increased and central force personnel will be deployed at each booth. He said that several observers were posted in West Bengal during the Lok Sabha elections and, this time, will be done the same.
“Panchayat elections are under the state police, but assembly and Lok Sabha elections are under our supervision, so people need not fear,” he said.
The Chief Election Commissioner said that bike rally will not be allowed in the state after the announcement of the election date. He said that holding elections is a challenge in itself and it is also a challenge in West Bengal.
‘Each state has its own challenges. Sometimes electricity is used, sometimes money is used indiscriminately and sometimes there is a law and order situation. We conduct elections according to the conditions of the state,” he added.