ECI to adopt ‘early action formula’ in Bengal to ensure fair LS polls in next four phases

May 11, 2024
May 11, 2024IANS - Kolkata

The Election Commission of India (ECI) will adopt an ‘early action formula’ in the forthcoming four phases of the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal to ensure peaceful and fair elections.

Explaining this ‘early action formula’, a source in the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO)’s office said on Saturday that this strategy will be multi-pronged.

First, the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) will not allow unnecessary assembly of supporters of political parties within a specific area in the radius of the polling stations, from the very first hour of the commencement of polling.

“This exercise will be a kind of caution for potential troublemakers that stricter punitive measures will follow in the case of habitual offenders,” the source said.

Second, there will be constant monitoring of identified “influential” local politicians so that they are unable to assemble for extended periods with their associates near polling stations, as it might result in altercations and tension in the area.

This will be implemented from the very first hour once polling begins.

Third, habitual offenders who do not take the first warning seriously will be detained for the day and will be released just an hour before the closing time of polling so that they are able to cast their votes.

As per legal provisions such preventive detentions up to 24 hours are allowed.

Insiders in the CEO’s office said that these three layers of the ‘early action formula’ were in place to a limited extent in the third phase of the elections on May 7, considering that two traditionally-troubled constituencies of Jangipur and Murshidabad went for polls on that day.

“From the fourth phase the same formula will be implemented more elaborately and strictly,” the sources said.