Deccan Chronicle

No clubbing of polls due to ‘logistical nightmare’


Major redeployme­nt of security forces at a short notice is one of the key reasons why Election Commission is not able to hold remaining four phases of Bengal elections in a single day as has been demanded by some political parties. Sources said home ministry has done a detailed assessment and is of the view that deployment of security forces in Bengal had been done according to polling over a period of eight phases and it would be a “logistical nightmare” now to change that schedule.

Some parties like Trinamul Congress have suggested that after the fifth phase on April 17, the remaining three phases of elections should be held together in a single day on April 24 in view of the rising Corona cases in West Bengal.

However, home ministry officials argue that in view of the heavy security deployment changing the pattern now would be a “logistical nightmare” as massive mobilisati­on would have to be done which in turn could impact impartial elections. This time Assembly polls in Bengal are being conducted for the first time in eight phases for which an unpreceden­ted one lakh central para-military forces have been used.

“All security arrangemen­ts have been made keeping in view the eight phases elections. Now if we change this at this stage we will have move around a lot of security personnel from one part of the State to another which would be a logistical nightmare,” a senior home ministry official added.

However, both Election Commission and home ministry have decided that security personnel will try to spread more awareness on Corona and maintain proper Corona protocol at all polling centres in the coming days.

Elaborate Corona safety arrangemen­ts will also be made at the counting centres also for the counting day on May 2 not just in Bengal but also in other states which went to polls like Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

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