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CCA: Need to move forces, political climate led to eight-phase elections in Bengal | India News

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NEW DELHI: This time, the polls in West Bengal will be distributed in eight unprecedented phases, making it the most staggered state poll in history. However, the voting will be 11 days shorter than the term of the assembly voting in 2016, calculating from the announcement to the day of the count.
Chief Elections Commissioner Sunil Arora said the decision to stagger voting in West Bengal into eight phases, as opposed to the six phases during the 2016 assembly elections (which were effectively seven phases, as one of the phases was divided into two different dates) and seven phases in 2019. The Lok Sabha polls were based on factors such as the availability and need for movement of central forces, as well as the “current type of charges and counter-charges,” an apparent reference to the accusations of political violence made by the BJP against the ruling TMC and counter-accusations of the latter.
According to crime data for 2019 compiled by the National Office for Criminal Records, West Bengal accounted for the largest (12) of the total 61 murders due to “political reasons” in 2019, although this figure is a repeat of its 2018 count from Bengal. Western. You did not submit your 2019 crime data to the NCRB on time. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the EC had to shorten the campaign period in West Bengal due to increased incidents of violence.
Referring to the allegations and counter-allegations, Arora said that “we have to find a kind of … middle way out,” adding that an increase from seven to eight phases was not a big deal. To a question about how Tamil Nadu, where excessive use of monetary power had previously led to the termination of surveys in some districts, had a single-phase survey, the CEC recalled that the state had a single-phase survey in 2016 and Lok Sabha from 2019 too.
An EC official, while speaking to TOI, noted that even in Assam, ruled by the BJP, the number of phases rose to three this time from two in 2016.
The sources said that between 1,000 and 1,200 companies of the central armed police forces, comprising between 1 lakh and 1.2 lakh personnel, will be deployed for the next elections, with the majority heading to West Bengal. The sources said that polling stations in West Bengal increased from 77,413 to 1 lakh due to Covid concerns, requiring more phases as limited forces must move between electoral districts.

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