EC says WB not singled out, central forces deployment routine practice

New Delhi, Feb 22 (PTI):
The Election Commission on Monday said that central police forces are being sent to all poll-bound states and not specifically to West Bengal, stressing that it is a routine practice for several decades.
In a statement, the poll panel said the CPFs are routinely sent to all the states and UTs where Lok Sabha or assembly elections are to take place, for advance area domination, especially in the critical and vulnerable sectors.
It said these sectors are identified by meticulous advance reviews and concrete feedback from various sources, including political parties and entities. This practice is going on since the late 1980s, it observed. The Commission was responding to certain reports claiming that central forces were being specifically sent to West Bengal. During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections also, central forces were sent to all states and UTs, and the same has been done in all assembly polls.
“In the instant case also, the CPFs have been sent to all the four states namely Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and the UT of Puducherry where assembly elections are to take place,” the statement said. It also said that the orders for CPF deployment were issued to the chief secretaries, the DGPs and the chief electoral officers of the four states and one UT on the same day — February 16.
At least 25,000 Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) personnel have been earmarked to be deployed for the forthcoming assembly polls in four states and the Union Territory of Puducherry. The terms of their legislative assemblies are ending on separate dates in May and June and elections are likely to be held in April.

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