#Kolkata: This time around 23,000 state police are being deployed in the pre-poll. The state government has reported to the State Election Commission (SEC) on the deployment of troops on the day of the Calcutta pre-poll that all polling stations will have at least two armed state police (Civic Poll 2021). The total number of troops will depend on the number of booths at the polling station. There will also be police and home guards with sticks.

According to the State Election Commission, there will be at least two armed police in each of the 26 sectors on the day of the Kolkata pre-poll. There will also be a total of 72 RT mobiles, 35 High Radio Flying Squads, 6 Quick Response Teams and 60 Striking Forces to take immediate action in case of any law and order incident.

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In addition to this account of the forces, in consultation with the State Election Commission, it has been decided to keep CCTV in all sensitive booths. At least 25% of these sensitive booths will be videographed from start to finish on polling day. Opposition parties have stated they will not run in the by-elections, but will not allow the Civic Police to take over the security of the polling booths (Civic Poll 2021). The commission has informed the government that no civic police will be used in the forthcoming polls in compliance with the demands of the opposition. However, stick holders and homeguards will be able to work to maintain general law and order in the booths, the commission said.

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Meanwhile, the BJP on Civic Poll is practically disappointed that the court did not get the verdict in the full case today. After yesterday, they expected the High Court to give its verdict today. But now that the case has not been decided in the court, they are now looking to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Shuvendu Adhikari and Dinesh Trivedi went to the State Election Commission (Civic Poll 2021) today and said that a free and transparent referendum is not possible without the central forces, VVPAT-linked EVMs.

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From the beginning, the BJP has alleged that the State Election Commission is being run under the direction of the state government. That is why they have no confidence in this commission. After informing the governor in a letter that the state police would hold the polls today, the BJP held a hearing at the Raj Bhavan seeking the governor’s intervention in realizing the demands of the central forces. However, according to the political circles, this is actually a strategy to increase the pressure on the state government and the commission

Despite the Supreme Court’s and the Governor’s intervention on the Kolkata pre-poll, the BJP’s main target is the remaining 111 pre-polls. Because, in terms of organization and strength, the BJPO knows very well that there is no possibility of any special success in Calcutta Municipality right now. However, in the case of the rest of the pre-polls, especially in North Bengal, Midnapore and Radhbang, they have some potential. In that case, the BJP can get land to fight if it can realize other demands, including the central forces.

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