Amid widespread violence as voting for the three-tier panchayat elections in West Bengal continued on Saturday, several polling booths are without security cover.
The maximum number of booths where the polling process is on without the presence of central armed forces personnel includes in Howrah, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, East Midnapore, and the tribal-dominated pockets in Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore districts.
“The arrival of the central forces personnel was completed on late Friday night and in that 11th hour it was hardly possible to ensure proper deployment,” said a state Election Commission official.
Condemning the developments, Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Assembl,y Suvendu Adhikari said in a tweet: “West Bengal Panchayat Elections – Carnival of DEMO’N’CRACY Mamata Banerjee’s henchman & contract killer; State Election Commissioner Rajiv Sinha is executing her plans across the State.”
The state Election Commissioner Rajiva Sinha, who arrived in his office some three hours late after voting began at 7.30 a.m., is yet to make a comment on the violence.
However, sources from the state election commission office said that it was evident since Friday evening that the proper deployment of central armed forces in all polling booths will not be possible.