Kolkata, Nov 30 (PTI) West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Tuesday said he has assured of taking up with the State Election Commission a BJP delegation's demand for deployment of central armed forces for fair and peaceful municipal polls.
Elections to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation are scheduled to be held on December 19, and polls to the other municipal bodies are likely in phases thereafter.
"A delegation of the BJP called on and strongly urged that for impartial, independent and fair municipal elections, it is necessary that central armed police force be positioned," Dhankhar said in a video on Twitter.
"I will take up the matter with the State Election Commission and deal with the issue appropriately," he said.
In a letter to the governor, the BJP referred to the precedent in 2013 when the State Election Commission had approached the Supreme Court for deployment of central forces in municipal polls, "despite the West Bengal government's view being contrary”.
"Looking at the present law and order situation in the state and reign of terror unleashed by the ruling Trinamool Congress, which is worse than 2013, free and fair elections will not be possible without deployment of central forces," the saffron party said. Delegation leader Raju Banerjee alleged that BJP candidates for the KMC elections and its workers are facing physical and verbal intimidation by ruling Trinamool Congress supporters.
"We will also meet the State Election Commissioner tomorrow and place our demand for deployment of central police force," Banerjee said.
TMC MLA Tapas Roy, however, sought to remind the BJP of the outcome of the West Bengal assembly elections held earlier this year, despite deployment of central forces.
"It is the people's support that matters; the masses are with (Chief Minister) Mamata Banerjee,” he asserted. PTI AMR SUS RBT RBT
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