Central forces arrive in Bengal ahead of polls

Kolkata, March 1 (IANS) Over 100 companies of central forces are being moved for extensive confidence building measures (CBM) in West Bengal districts ahead of assembly polls in the state, an Election Commission official said here on Tuesday.

“They are arriving and some have already started route marches and confidence building measures in certain districts. More companies are expected to arrive here after March 7,” additional chief electoral officer Dibyendu Sarkar told the media here.

He said the focus is on ethical voting and CBM measures have been initiated to boost an atmosphere of confidence so that voters can cast ballots without any fear or intimidation.

The details of the CBMs will be collected from districts on a daily basis, he added.

The Commission also highlighted the improvement in gender ratio among voters in the state. This year among every 1,000 male voters, there are 933 female voters whereas last year the figure was 925. The population to voter ratio has increased by 0.68 percent.

As per the final electoral role, the number of total voters is about 6.55 crore, said Sarkar.

“This is a net increase of 3.23 percent (about 20 lakh). In the draft electoral role there were about 6.34 crore voters in the state,” he said.

In addition, 3.17 percent voters of the total electorate in the state are in the age group of 18 to 19 years.

The number of polling booths in the assembly polls will be 77,247.

For “aggressive” and “mass scale” awareness among voters, Sarkar also stressed on IT initiatives to streamline the electoral process.

The necessary framework and support system to launch ‘Suvidha’ (a single window permission system for holding public meetings and rallies by parties in poll season) and ‘Samadhan’ (a digital redressal system for complaints) in app-based formats are up and running, he said.

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