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State police to supervise January 22 civic polls

The state poll panel also wrote to district magistrates of the four districts, requesting them to ensure ‘strict compliance’ to Covid safety guidelines
Representational image.
Representational image.
File picture

Arkamoy Datta Majumdar   |   Calcutta   |   Published 06.01.22, 02:09 AM

The state election commission on Wednesday decided to hold the four January 22 civic polls under the supervision of Bengal police, earning flak from the Opposition.

State election commissioner Saurabh Das met Bengal chief secretary H.K. Dwivedi, home secretary B.P. Gopalika and director-general of state police Manoj Malviya virtually on security during polls to Asansol, Bidhannagar, Siliguri and Chandernagore civic bodies.

At the meeting, Das announced that armed state police would be deputed for the job.

In response, BJP’s state chief spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said the poll body was allegedly leaving no stone unturned to ensure rigging by Trinamul.

“Yet we are grateful to the commission, that it has officially trusted the state police and not Trinamul goons to run the show on polling day,” said Bhattacharya.

CPM veteran Rabin Deb said the commission was allegedly being run at the whim of the state government and that commissioner Das had failed to live up to his role.

“We had been assured by the commissioner himself that there will be an all-party meeting on security. But that didn’t happen,” Deb said.

“We had no separate demands for central forces. All we want is them (the commission) to exert their constitutional mandate properly,” he added.

Trinamul dismissed the allegations. The party’s Rajya Sabha member Santanu Sen said the state police were capable of conducting the polls peacefully.

The state poll panel also wrote to district magistrates of the four districts, requesting them to ensure “strict compliance” to Covid safety guidelines. “Any violation of this guideline shall be treated as a serious offence and action shall be taken in terms of the provisions under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, read with the West Bengal Epidemic Disease, Covid-19 Regulation, 2020,” it read.



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