on Monday discounted reports in a section of the media suggesting that
forces were specifically being sent to
ahead of announcement of assembly elections, saying that the advance deployment of Central para-military forces had been ordered by EC across all the five poll-bound states/UT “as a standard and routine practice”.
The poll body, in a statement on Monday, said Central Police Forces (CPFs) are routinely sent to all the states and UTs where Lok Sabha/
elections are due, for advance area domination, especially in the critical and vulnerable sectors “which are identified by meticulous advance reviews and concrete feedback from various sources including political parties and entities”.
“This practice is going on since late 1980s,” it underlined.
Stating that Central forces were sent to all the states/UTs during Lok Sabha polls 2019 and that the same was done in all the state elections that have been taking place, EC said in the instant case too, the forces were dispatched to all the four states – Assam, Kerala,
and West Bengal – and one UT – Puducherry, and not just West Bengal.
“It may be of interest for the media to know that these orders for CPF (Central police forces) deployment were issued to the chief secretaries, the DGPs and the chief electoral officers of all these five States/UT on the same day, i.e. 16 February 2021,” said EC.
As per reports in a section of the media, around 125 companies of Central forces, comprising around 12,500 personnel, were to be deployed in West Bengal by February 25. The media reports had quoted TMC leader Bratya Basu as saying: “The BJP is considering it (West Bengal polls) as war and not elections. They might even send a tank because they know they don’t have people’s support.”
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