KOLKATA:A West Bengal BJP delegation, led by party national executive member Siddharth Nath Singh, on Wednesday met the state’s Chief Electoral Officer(CEO) and demanded the deployment of Central forces as the party apprehended the possibility of violence and rigging by the ruling TMC during the bypolls in the state.
Singh, who is the BJP point man for West Bengal, met CEO Sunil Gupta and demanded that at least 160 companies of Central forces be deployed at the polling booths in Bongaon Lok Sabha and Krishnaganj Assembly constituencies.
“You must be aware that both constituencies are located along the international border with Bangladesh. This border is mostly porous at various points and illegal immigration takes place in both constituencies. Hence, the border needs to be sealed at least 72 hours before the election.“ He also demanded the installation of CCTV cameras at the booths.
“We will hand over a list of sensitive booths and we expect action to be taken against criminals, who act under the patronage of the ruling party,” he told Gupta.
According to the BJP leader Central troops would move into the state to prevent political parties from influencing the voters from Friday. He said that a list of officers, who act at the behest of the ruling party, would also be provided. He alleged that votes would be rigged by the TMC, if the area is not put under a tight vigil. The bypolls are scheduled to be held on February 13. Singh said the BJP has impressed upon the state CEO not to depend on the local police force, that works under the guidance of the ruling party and are prone to take part in the rigging. “The CEO has assured us that three Central Election Commission observers will be appointed for the Lok Sabha seat and one for the Assembly constituency,” he said.
The Bongaon Lok Sabha byelection will witness a tight contest between the TMC and the BJP as both have filed nominations from the leading family of the Motua community, erstwhile Hindu refugees from Bangladesh, who make up around 35 per cent of the electorate.
While the TMC has fielded Mamatabala Thakur, the widow of former late Bongaon Lok Sabha MP Kapil Krishna Thakur, the BJP fielded Subrata Thakur, who along with his father and former state Minister Manjul Krishna Thakur,had quit the TMC last month.