EC: CAPF deployment in all poll-bound states, not just West Bengal

The Election Commission’s statement comes a day after the Trinamool Congress, reacting to the presence of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in West Bengal, accused the BJP of “treating polls as war, and not elections”.

The Election Commission (EC) Monday said the dispatch of central police forces to West Bengal was done as part of a routine exercise and wasn’t limited to one state. Companies of central forces were sent to each of the four poll-bound states, including Assam, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, the EC said.

The Commission’s statement comes a day after the Trinamool Congress, reacting to the presence of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in West Bengal, accused the BJP of “treating polls as war, and not elections”.

The Commission said the CAPF is routinely sent for “advance area domination, especially in the critical and vulnerable sectors which are identified by meticulous advance reviews and concrete feedback from various sources including political parties and entities”. This established practice dates back to the 1980s, it said.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the Commission met Shamsheer Vayalil, the Dubai-based businessman who has filed a public interest litigation in the Supreme Court, seeking voting rights for NRIs. “He was informed that the matter is under active and empathic consideration of ECI.”

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