Top EC official reviews poll preparations in Bengal, says law & order bad
TheCommission is looking at the assembly election as a challengeand it is determined to conduct a free and fair poll, anofficer said on condition of anonymity.Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, Home Secretary HK Dwivedi and Director General of Police DGP Virendraattended the meeting.Some criminals even operate from inside the jails.PTI | Kolkata | Updated: 14-01-2021 22:20 IST | Created: 14-01-2021 22:20 IST
Deputy Election CommissionerSudip Jain on Thursday reviewed preparations for holdingassembly elections in West Bengal, and voiced concern over thelaw and order situation in the state, sources in the office ofthe state's Chief Electoral officer (CEO), said.
West Bengal has witnessed political turmoil andfrequent clashes between the ruling TMC and challenger BJPover the last couple of years. The skirmishes have claimedseveral lives and left many injured, with both sides blamingeach other for triggering violence.
Jain warned that officers found wanting in effectivelydischarging their duties will be removed from their positions.
Jain, according to officers present at the meeting,made it clear that the kind of violence seen in the 2019 LokSabha polls was ''unacceptable''.
''The Commission may take strong steps against officersfound neglecting their duties. They will be removed. TheCommission is looking at the assembly election as a challengeand it is determined to conduct a free and fair poll,'' anofficer said on condition of anonymity.
''Some criminals even operate from inside the jails. Heasked DMs and SPs to get specific information about suchcriminals in jails and their activities and send it tothe Election Commission within seven days,'' the official said,insisting he not be named.
Jain also spoke to Education Secretary Manish Jain andHealth Secretary Narayan Swarup Nigam about the condition ofschool buildings, destroyed by cyclone Amphan, as COVID-19protocols will require social distancing during the vote andsetting up of more polling stations.
Sources said the state will require additional 28,000polling booths.
Since most of these polling stations are located inpublic buildings like schools, the Election Commission wantsthem to be repaired and restored before the polls.
Jain said the EC will keep in mind the West Bemgalschool board examinations, likely to start in June, beforefinalising the election schedule.
A team led by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arorais likely to visit West Bengal later this month to review thestate's preparedness for the assembly elections.
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