- Special Poll Observer compared scenario in West Bengal to that of Bihar
- He said strong deployment of central forces was required at booths
- Ajay V Nayak was earlier the Chief Electoral Officer in Bihar
Special Poll Observer Ajay V Nayak on Saturday compared the election scenario in West Bengal to that of Bihar over 10 to 15 years ago, and claimed that its people "do not have any faith in the state police".
"The (poll) situation in Bengal is like Bihar's 10 to 15 years ago. But if the people of Bihar could change that situation, I don't see why the people of Bengal can't," he said.
The election officer said strong deployment of central forces was required at booths across Bihar back then. "This is now the need in West Bengal because people have lost faith in the state police. They want central forces at all booths," he told mediapersons here.
The Trinamool Congress has complained to the Election Commission against Mr Nayak, claiming that the official is politically biased. The party has demanded that the officer be recalled from the state.
Mr Nayak was earlier the Chief Electoral Officer in Bihar. He was appointed as a special observer by the Election Commission last week, after the state BJP made several complaints about the state Chief Election Commissioner.
He ruled out re-polling in Cooch Behar and Alipurduar but said there is a chance of elections being conducted again in some of the booths that went to polls in the second phase. As many as 92% booths will have central forces in the third phase, and baton-wielding policemen will not be allowed within 100 metres of voting zones, Mr Nayak said.
Claiming that elections in the state will be peaceful and fair, he said, "Bengal is progressing in a positive fashion. Things are improving in terms of election management...definitely on the mend. I am sure that by the time next parliamentary elections happen, it will not require this kind of security deployment."
Meanwhile, a poll officer who went missing from Nadia district on Thursday is yet to be traced. He was in charge of all the EVMs in Nadia district, which has two parliamentary constituencies. Ajay Nayak said on Friday that he may have been suffering from depression, a claim denied by the poll officer's wife.
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