EC appoints special observer for West Bengal ahead of second phase


 The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday appointed special observer for West Bengal ahead of the second phase of Lok Sabha polls in the state.ECI has appointed 1984 batch IAS officer Ajay Nayak who was the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Bihar.

In the first phase, two Parliamentary constituencies- Cooch Behar and Alipurduar- witnessed polling while rest of 40 Lok Sabha seats will go to polls in six phases. The polling for the second phase will be held on April 18. 

Following complaints by the Opposition parties after the first phase of polling process on April 11 was dotted with incidents of violence and booth capturing, EC has decided to deploy Central forces in 80% of the booths in three Lok Sabha constituencies of West Bengal which go to poll on April 18, in the second phase.

EC sources said initially it had been decided that there would be Central forces at 55% of booths in Darjeeling, Raiganj and Jalpaiguri constituencies. “The EC has now decided to press in 194 companies of jawans and ensure that there are posted at 80 per cent of the booths in north Bengal,” an EC official said.

While state armed police will be at the rest of the 20% booths, there will be CCTV at all booths, and most of them would be covered by webcasting and videography. The tech intervention would enable ECI officials in New Delhi and CEO WB, offices to monitor the poll process live at all the booths.

Besides, six companies of Central forces will be used to guard the strong rooms.

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