CAPF deployment increased in Bengal’s seven LS seats, polling underway

Kolkata: Polling was underway for the seven Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal in the fifth phase on Monday with a last-moment decision to increase the deployment of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).

Sources in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said that 650 companies of CAPF have been deployed in the fifth phase against the originally scheduled disposition of 578 companies. They are being assisted by a total of 25,590 personnel from the state police forces.

Following the enhanced security deployment and strict vigil from the CEO’s office, the reports of poll-related tension have been much lower at least in the first hour on Monday compared to the situation in the first four phases.

However, complaints of some stray incidents have already started coming to the CEO’s office since the first hour only. A complaint has been filed against Trinamool Congress activists for beating up three local BJP leaders Shyamal Roy, Kalipada Bag and Shyamal Malik at Arambagh Lok Sabha constituency in Hooghly district following which the three were hospitalised.

After casting his vote in the very first hour on Monday, BJP candidate and sitting MP from Barrackpore Arjun Singh complained that in certain polling booths at Amdanga, one of the seven Assembly constituencies under Serampore Lok Sabha, the BJP agents were not being allowed to occupy their seats within the booths.

“I am issuing a note of caution for my opponent from Trinamool Congress Partha Bhowmik to refrain from playing such games. Otherwise, the repercussions will not be quite desirable,” Singh said.

The CPI(M) candidate from Serampore Lok Sabha Dipsita Dhar, also a voter from the same constituency, cast her vote in the first year. “The Trinamool Congress activists are trying to stop our agents from entering the polling booths. But we are in constant touch with the authorities. I would also like to see how long the ruling party activists can continue with such atrocities,” Dhar said.

The seven Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal that are going for polls on Monday include Hooghly, Arambagh and Serampore in Hooghly district, Barrackpore and Bangaon in North 24 Parganas district and Howrah and Uluberia in Howrah district.


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