Current AffairsIndia

ECI stresses for free and fair polling, unrest will not be tolerated in West Bengal

Siliguri: Stressing for free and fair polling, the full bench of Election Commission of India (ECI) headed by Sunil Arora on Wednesday said that it would not tolerate any unrest or violence before and during the eight-phase assembly elections across West Bengal.

The poll body also said all the covid norms to be adhered strictly in exercising the constitutional obligations.

The ECI made it clear to ensure maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, and using sanitizers in the polling booths.

The commission has also asked the district administration to procure PPE kits and machinery for thermal scanning in the polling booths.

West Bengal will witness a record number eight phases polls beginning March 27 and the last phase poll is on April 27.

The results will be declared on May 2.

The full bench of the Commission headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora met state Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay and DGP Niraj Nayan in Siliguri to review the law and order situation across the state.

The ECI directed the administration to ensure web casting arrangements at polling booths.

The poll body directed to depute central forces to ensure free and fair polling in the state.

The commission was not happy with the recovery of weapons in several poll-bound districts so far.

The full bench of ECI was on a two-day visit to this commercial hub of north Bengal to review the poll preparedness.

The poll body had virtual meetings with all District Magistrates and police officials of the state in presence of four special observers appointed by the commission.

On Tuesday the Commission led by Mr Arora also reviewed poll preparedness in 54 assembly constituencies across eight districts of north Bengal.

It emphasised extra vigil against illegal arms and sought webcasting in 50 per cent sensitive booths.

Polling in this region will be held on April 10, 17, 22, 26 and 29.

CEC Arora and election commissioners Sushil Chandra and Rajiv Kumar also discussed the randomization of state and central forces with Bengal’s chief electoral officer Ariz Aftab, special police observer Vivek Dubey and ADG (law and order) Jag Mohan, among others.

The EC is contemplating having over 1,000 companies of central forces across 23 districts of the state.

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