KOLKATA: The first batch of Central Police Force (CPF) personnel arrived in West Bengal on Assembly election duty on Saturday. With their arrival, began the game of blaming and counter blaming. A BJP delegation met the state’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Aariz Aftab and complained that the state government has deployed the central forces in a manner that will serve the interest of the ruling party. Alleging that the CPF was not sent to areas which have witnessed widespread violence, they requested the CEO to convene an all party meeting.
The ruling TMC refuted this claim. The delegation also mentioned to the CEO that contractual staff have been registered at the district level as Group D staff to perform the duties of polling personnel, which is illegal as they are not regular government employees and not answerable to anyone. “It has come to our notice that the state government has allocated CPF to various districts in a manner that will serve the interest of the party in power, without any regard to areas which have witnessed violence.
No point will be served if CPF goes on route marches on national and state highways instead of sensitive areas,’’ alleged BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta. Requesting an all-party meeting, Dasgupta wrote: “In the interest of confidence building among voters to ensure free and fair polls, we request you to call the meeting at the earliest so that all stake-holders can g i v e t h e i r suggestions.” On Saturday, 12 companies of CPF arrived in West Bengal.
Four of them have been deployed in Kolkata and adjoining areas. The rest was sent to Birbhum, West Midnapore and Jhargram. EC sources said more than 1,000 companies of CPF would be deployed in this election. “In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, around 750 companies of CPF were engaged in election duty. This year the number of booths is more than one lakh, up from around 79,000 the Lok Sabha elections. Around 125 companies of CPF will arrive by the end of this month,’’ said an official of the commission.
BJP functionary blames party man BJP’s West Bengal youth wing functionary Pamela Goswami, who was arrested on Friday with cocaine in her possession in Kolkata, alleged that the saffron camp’s national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya’s aid Rakesh Singh hatched the conspiracy to frame her in a false case