KOLKATA: For the first time in the party history in West Bengal, CPI(M) leaders will share the dais with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi during his campaign for the Assembly polls scheduled next month.
State CPI(M) leader Rabin Deb on Thursday announced, “We have received an invitation asking our leadership to be present at Rahul Gandhi’s public meeting on April 2 in Durgapur and Kulti in Burdwan district. Our leaders like former MP Bangsho Gopal Chowdhury and all our nominees in the industrial area of Durgapur will be present on the stage. Our workers too will join the meeting with party flags.”
Rahul is expected to address two meetings each in Burdwan and Bankura districts. Security arrangements were reviewed on Wednesday as Bankura was once a Maoist stronghold and has borders with Jharkhand.
Meanwhile, intelligence reports have warned of possible Maoists attacks from neighbouring Jharkhand prompting the Election Commission to make unprecedented security arrangements to ensure peaceful polling. The first phase of polling in 18 Assembly constituencies in Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore districts is scheduled on April 4.
In the entire area, Central paramilitary forces deployed for elections could be seen conducting route marches in towns and on the highways but not a single vehicle or van carrying joint security forces could be seen in remote areas.
The Election Commission is deploying around 12,000 central paramilitary forces which have already started route marches in the Assembly constituencies. All the 4,945 polling locations will be guarded by these forces.
Top Cop Removed over Snooping Charges
The Election Commission of India on Wednesday reportedly removed Kolkata Police commissioner Rajiv Kumar in the wake of complaints from the BJP and Congress that he was being used by the Mamata Banerjee government to snoop on opposition leaders.
A BJP delegation had on Tuesday met the Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi demanding the removal of the Commissioner, and also complained against two Kolkata Police personnel for allegedly trying to bribe its national secretary Rahul Sinha in return for help to smuggle out cattle to Bangladesh. Subsequently, the EC had sought a report from the State Home Secretary.
“We have received reports from the State Home Secretary and sent it to the Election Commission for their consideration,” Deputy chief electoral officer Amitjyoti Bhattacharya said. Subhasish Ray Choudhury, ASI of Special Branch, and constable Aminul Rahman have been placed under suspension pending inquiry.