X Close

Full bench of Election Commission to visit West Bengal by end of January


KOLKATA: The full bench of the Election Commission of India (ECI) is likely to visit Bengal at the end of this month, sources in the commission said. The ECI will hold a meeting with the superintendents of police, district magistrates, the Chief Secretary, and the home secretary.

The final voting schedule would be announced by the commission in February, said an ECI official.

Deputy Election Commissioner Sudip Jain held two rounds of meetings with the DMs and the SPs of all the districts on Wednesday and another meeting with chief secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay, home secretary HK Dwivedi and health secretary Vivek Kumar.

"In Wednesday’s meeting, Jain indicated that the state assembly elections would end in April by announcing the voting dates in February.  He also instructed the administrative officials to swing into action to organize the elections from now on.  

Besides, he reminded me that no chaos and negligence will be tolerated.  The SPs and other bureaucrats have been told the commission would remove any officer from his or her post if dereliction of duty is found. The commission will take all possible steps to hold peaceful elections in the state,’’ said an official.

As the CBSE board exams are scheduled to be held in May, Jain told the Bengal administrative officials that the commission wanted to complete the election process in Kerala, Assam, Tamil Nadu, and Pondicherry, and West Bengal by the last week of April.

 Expressing concern over the alleged law and order situation in the state, he directed the police superintendents to execute the non-bailable arrest warrants as soon as possible. 

"Besides, the deputy election commissioner has asked the administrative officials to report to the commission every week on the law and order situation," said the official.

This time at least 25 percent of booths are going to increase in the state.  In terms of numbers, that would be close to 26,000.  This is a big challenge for the commission and the state administration.