Over 2.7 lakh paramilitary personnel along with over 20 lakh state police personnel and home guards are on the job for ensuring smooth conduct of the seven-phase Lok Sabha polls in the country.
Home Ministry officials said the deployment of such a large number of security personnel in the 2019 general elections was the highest ever in India.
Following a recommendation of the Election Commission, 2,710 companies of paramilitary personnel were deployed in Lok Sabha polls, a home ministry official said. A company of paramilitary comprises about 100 personnel.
In addition, police force and home guards of each state, the total number of which would be over 20 lakh, have been deployed along with paramilitary personnel in all booths, transportation of polling personnel and guarding strong rooms where the Electronic Voting Machines are kept after the polls. The total sanctioned strength of India's state police forces is around 21 lakh and paramilitary is around 10 lakh.
As the phases are getting over, paramilitary troops are being moved from one state to the other, the official said. Apart from Jammu and Kashmir, which has been the most sensitive state for holding the polls, West Bengal has seen the deployment of a massive 41,000 personnel for smooth conduct of elections in the seven-phase polls in the state's 42 Lok Sabha constituencies.
Majority of the paramilitary personnel were drawn from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Sashastra Seema Bal (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Indian Reserve Battalions (IRBs) of different states, another official said. Huge logistics and requisitioning of railway coaches, trucks and helicopter sorties are being arranged to send these forces to the designated polling areas.
The Lok Sabha polls began on April 11 and will end on May 19. The counting of votes is scheduled for May 23.