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EC directs Home Ministry to deploy 100 more central force companies in Bengal for Lok Sabha polls

Kolkata: The Election Commission of India has directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to deploy 100 more companies of the Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPF) in West Bengal to conduct a free and fair Lok Sabha election, according to sources.
According to the sources, 55 companies of CRPF and 45 companies of the Border Security Forces (BSF) are being deployed by the Home Ministry on the instruction of the ECI.
Officials have been directed to complete the deployment of an extra 100 CAPF companies in West Bengal on or before April 15, sources added.
On Wednesday, the ECI had convened a crucial meeting with all states and union territories to review and assess the law and order situation, prevention of illicit activities, seizures and strict vigil across inter-state and international borders in the ongoing General Elections to Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies 2024 for a free, fair, peaceful and inducement free elections.
The purpose of the combined review was to bring all concerned stakeholders together on the same platform for a seamless coordination and cooperation amongst officials of the neighbouring states/UTs along with central agencies guarding the borders. The Commission, in detail, reviewed critical issues pertaining to each State/UT.
The meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar along with ECs Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu was attended by top officials from States/UTs and central agencies guarding the borders.
CEC Rajiv Kumar in his opening remarks underscored Commission's commitment to ensuring free, fair, peaceful, and inducement-free elections, and called upon all stakeholders to work together seamlessly to uphold the integrity of the electoral process and ensure level playing field.
Elections in the 42 parliamentary constituencies of West Bengal will be held on April 19, April 26, May 7, May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1. The counting of votes will take place on June 4.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha election in West Bengal, the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress won 22 of the 42 seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bagged 18. The other two seats were won by the Congress.

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