Bengal panchayat polls: Central nodal officer blames SEC over force deployment

Inspector General of Border Security Force SC Budakoti accused the State Election Commission of 'non-cooperation' in force deployment, which, according to him, is a clear violation of the Calcutta High Court's order on this count.
Bengal panchayat polls: Central nodal officer blames SEC over force deployment
Bengal panchayat polls: Central nodal officer blames SEC over force deployment
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Inspector General of Border Security Force (BSF), SC Budakoti, who is the central nodal officer for the panchayat polls in West Bengal, blamed the State Election Commission (SEC) for 'ineffective' utilisation of central armed forces during polling on Saturday, July 8. Budakoti wrote to State Election Commissioner Rajiva Sinha, accusing the Commission of 'non-cooperation' in force deployment, which, according to him, is a clear violation of the Calcutta High Court's order on this count.

In the letter, BSF IG alleged that despite repeated reminders, the entire list of sensitive booths was not made available to them by the SEC even after the polling process started on Saturday morning. "That is why central forces personnel could not be deployed everywhere," he alleged. Budakoti also accused the Commission of providing inadequate logistics support for swift movement and effective deployment of forces. 

It is learnt that, in his reply, Sinha has expressed surprise over the allegations levelled by the BSF IG, claiming that the Commission had updated Budakoti through letters and WhatsApp messages, the records of which have been preserved. Political observers feel that such blame games prove that the high court’s order on forces deployment for ensuring free and fair polling was not honoured at the ground level. At least 13 persons were killed on Saturday - the poll day - due to the widespread violence in West Bengal, since the announcement of poll.

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