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EC to deploy 27 companies of central forces for Bengal bypolls

 
Kolkata, Oct 9 (IANS) The Election Commission of India has decided to deploy 27 companies of central forces for the October 30 by-elections in Khardaha in North 24 Parganas, Gosaba in South 24 Parganas, Santipur in Nadia and Dinhata in Coochbehar district.

According to sources in the poll panel, the 27 companies will comprise eight companies from CRPF, nine from BSF, five from CISF, and another five from SSB. The companies will arrive in the state on October 13 and will mainly work on area domination to facilitate smooth conduct of the bypolls.

When asked if more companies will be pressed into service before the by-elections, an EC official said, "The elections will be fully conducted by the central forces. The Commission will review the situation of all the constituencies before the elections and take a final call."

The Dinhata seat fell vacant after local BJP MP Nisith Pramanik, who contested the Assembly elections and won by a slender margin of 57 votes against Udayan Guha of Trinamool Congress, decided to retain his Lok Sabha seat.

He was later appointed as Union Minister of State for Home Affairs in July. Trinamool Congress has decided to field Guha from this seat again.

Similarly, BJP MP Jagannath Sarkar had won from Santipur, but he later opted for his Lok Sabha seat, leaving the seat vacant. Trinamool's Brajakishore Goswami, a member of the Vaishnav community, is pitted against Niranjan Biswas of the BJP in Santipur.

The Khardah seat fell vacant after the winning Trinamool candidate, Kajal Sinha, succumbed to Covid-19 before the announcement of results on May 2. Trinamool has now fielded Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, who had previously won from Bhabanipur but resigned to pave the way for Mamata Banerjee to contest from there, in Khardah.

In Gosaba, Trinamool veteran Jayanta Naskar, who represented the seat twice since 2011, died after his third victory. Trinamool has fielded Subrata Mondal, a local leader, against BJP's Palash Rana in Gosaba.

--IANS
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