On the eve of the three-tier Panchayat polls in West Bengal, incidents of violence were reported from several districts of the state, putting a question mark on free, fair and peaceful poll process. 20 districts of Bengal will go to polls on Monday amidst high security,
State armed forces are carrying out ‘naka checking’ and security at bordering areas have been beefed up.
Poll officers have arrived on Sunday morning at Durgapur subdivision booths. Four blocks here – Andal, Pandobeswar, Durgapur-Faridpur and Kanksa DCRC – have been declared as sensitive areas. Route march is being carried out by armed force.Area domination was also being done at eight blocks at South Dinajpore district. Administrative sources said that there would be 1300 armed personnel and 4450 civic volunteers present at these areas.
Waterways and roadways of West Midnapore district is under strict surveillance. Checking is on at places which have ferry services. There are 3730 booths in the district where 31,46,454 voters will exercise their franchise on Monday. About 20,000 poll officials have been dispatched to the district. In Jalpaiguri district there are 1594 districts in seven blocks where the total number of voters is about 14,56,000. Of the total booths, 55 have been tagged as sensitive and 45 as highly sensitive. One company of Sikkim Police officials have arrived in the district who would monitor election process at these booths. CCTVs have been installed at 160 booths.
Sikkim Police officials have also been posted at North Dinajpore district where the number of booths is 1828 and number of voters is 18,11,734. State Election Commission (SEC) has instructed district administration to pay special attention to North 24 Parganas district which had witnessed several instances of violence in the past three days. Of the total 3801 booths there, arrangements for video recording and CCTV have been made at 10 per cent booths. About 21,500 poll officials have been sent to the district which has 33,32,055 voters.
About 12,000 security officials will be posted in the district and at every booth one armed and one non-armed police official will be deployed. Ballot papers in three colours – white, yellow and pink – have been printed for the three-tier polls. Of the total 48,650 Gram Panchayats, polling will take place at 31,789 where the number of candidates is 92,204. In case of Panchayat Samity, the total seats is 9217, polling will take place in 6,119 and number of candidates is 20,535. Zilla Parishad seats are 825 among which there will be polling in 621 seats where the number of candidates is 2872.
SEC sources said the number of booths is 47,451 and that of poll premises is 34,892. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has asked people to be alert. “Administration should be strong irrespective of their political affiliation. We have arrested Arabul who is our Zilla Parishad candidate because I felt he is wrong. In earlier occasion too we have arrested our own supporters if they had been offending. I urge all political parties to maintain peace and all should exercise their franchise peacefully. There are fake videos which are being circulated. I ask everyone to be careful of those as well,” she said.
from Daily News & Analysis https://ift.tt/2KZhtW4