KOLKATA: The Election Commission is likely to engage 1 lakh central security personnel in the upcoming Bengal Assembly elections. In the last Lok Sabha polls, around 70,500 CRPF personnel were deployed in the state. In the 2016 Assembly elections, the number was around 70,000.
The decision was followed by the three-day visit of the ECI’s full bench to the state to take stock of the ground situation. "The full bench interacted with all major political parties. This was followed by a review meeting in Delhi and the decision to enhance the central forces was taken," said an ECI official in Kolkata.
Elaborating on the requirement of the record number of force, the official said the number of booths are also going to be increased. "Considering Covid-19 pandemic, around 22,000 auxiliary booths will be set up for a large number of electorates in the existing 78,903 booths. The volume of additional force will be required to ensure free and fair elections," he said.
The ECI will ensure the deployment of the central force well in advance as part of confidence-building measure among the electorates. Chief election commissioner Sunil Arora, during his Bengal visit, had said that the central force shall be in the state ahead of the polls.