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60,000 paramilitary personnel to be deployed for assembly elections in five states

New Delhi Nearly 60,000 paramilitary personnel, in addition to police forces, will be deployed in five states where assembly elections are due later this year.

After reviewing security situation of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Mizoram, the Home Ministry has conveyed to the Election Commission that it was ready to provide the required number of security personnel for smooth conduct of polls.

"Around 58 to 60 battalions of paramilitary forces will be required for election duties in the five states," a Home Ministry official said.

A battalion comprises around 1,000 personnel.

The availability of central forces is key for the smooth conduct of elections in Naxal-hit states like Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh where polling is likely to be held in phases.

Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath along with two Election Commissioners HS Brahma and Nasim Zaidi had already held a meeting with Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami and other senior officers to discuss the issue.

In July, Sampath had said the schedule for Assembly elections in five states will be announced sometime in September-October.

"The schedule for elections to five states will be announced 6 to 8 weeks before the polling date. Since the earliest cut-off date for Madhya Pradesh is December 12, we will announce the schedule sometime in September-October," he had told PTI.

"Since it will be a bunch of elections, we will announce the schedule together," he had said.

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