Bengal is ‘problematic’, so 7-phase poll: EC

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Kolkata, April 1 (IANS) Special police observer for West Bengal Vivek Dube on Monday said it is not possible to declare all polling booths as ‘sensitive’ but the seven phase election was decided as the state is ‘problematic’.

Dube held an all-party meeting here and later said he was satisfied with the deliberations. Most of the leaders wanted more patrolling, with all parties urging him to ensure that the elections were conducted in a free and fair manner.

Asked about the opposition parties’ demand that Bengal be declared sensitive, he said: “All booths can never be declared as sensitive. Some will be sensitive, some will be highly sensitive and the classification is based on certain criteria.”

Dube explained that the reason why “the election in the state has been divided into seven phases is that the EC knew that West Bengal is a problematic state”. Also, the state will need more forces.

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He gave the examples of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh where the election will be held in a single phase. With more phases it will be easy to move forces.

Asked about the complaints of the political parties who questioned the neutrality of the Chief Electoral Officer’s office and police officers seen in political meetings, Dube said: “I have asked the parties to submit complaints backed with proper evidence and I will see to it.”

Dube will be in Siliguri on Tuesday to inspect the poll preparedness for the first two phases.



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