New Delhi: The Election Commission special observer Ajay V Nayak has described the situation in West Bengal similar to what it was in Bihar 15 years ago.
He said that is the reason why voters in the state are demanding deployment of central forces in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.
Nayak said people have lost faith in the state police which is the primary reason why they are demanding deployment of central forces at all polling booths.
A 1984-batch IAS officer who also acted as the former Bihar chief electoral officer, Nayak has been given the responsibility to oversee the last five phases of polls in West Bengal.
Reacting to the allegation of Nayak, ruling Trinamool Congress has demanded his immediate removal as he has links to the RSS and the BJP.
After Nayak’s statement, secretary general Subrata Bakshi wrote to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora demanding immediate removal of the officer to ensure “free and fair” polls in the state.
Earlier, polling officials in Cooch Behar had said that they will boycott the elections if central forces are not deployed at booths.
Nayak said :“In the third phase of polling on April 23, 324 companies of central forces would be deployed to cover more than 92 per cent of the polling booths in five Lok Sabha constituencies.”
Balurghat, Malda North, Malda South, Jangipur and Murshidabad parliamentary constituencies will go to the polls on April 23.
The first phase of polling on April 11 was held with deployment of central forces in booths of Alipurduar and Cooch Behar seats.
The first phase of polls had multiple reports of booth capturing and smashing of EVMs.
According to reports, similar incidents were also reported in the second phase from Chopra in Darjeeling and from Islampur in Raiganj constituencies.