BJP wants central observers, CAPF in Bengal for 2019 polls
A West Bengal BJP delegation met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora here on Thursday and demanded that central observers be appointed across all segments, besides adequate deployment of central forces to ensure free and fair polling in the state in the 2019 general elections.
The full bench of the Election Commission led by Arora arrived in Kolkata on Wednesday to review the preparedness for the Lok Sabha elections in the state.
They held a meeting with all political parties, state administration and state EC officials on Thursday.
The Bharatiya Janata Party delegation urged for the deployment of only Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) personnel in all polling booths, under the supervision of central police observers, instead of depending on the state police force.
The party said there was a "severe and pervasive sense of fear" among the Bengal voters due to the political violence and killings that took place during the rural bodies polls earlier.
It urged that the central officers and CAPF personnel should be sent well in advance for building confidence.
"A chief observer from outside be appointed to oversee the functioning of the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) as his office came under doubt regarding functioning in a fair manner during the last poll process.
"All general observers should be empowered to oversee the functioning of district electoral officers and returning officers," the party said.
"A chief police observer be appointed to oversee the deployment of police and CAPF forces to ensure adequate security measures, area domination and 'naka checking' across all constituencies before and during the elections," it added.
The saffron party also demanded real time videography of all polling station premises and said a special observer should be appointed to monitor the work of Election Registration Officers (ERO) and ensure that fake voters are removed from voter lists.