To assess preparedness for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission on Thursday decided to send a high-level team led by Deputy Election Commissioner Sudip Jain to West Bengal, Assam, Tripura and Manipur from March 16 to 19.
The move comes a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) urged the poll panel to declare West Bengal a “super-sensitive state”. The delegation would visit West Bengal on Saturday, Tripura on Sunday, Assam on Monday and Manipur on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, a BJP delegation, led by Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and comprising Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and J.P. Nadda and party General Secretaries Bhupender Yadav and Kailash Vijayvargiya, met Election Commission officials and demanded that West Bengal be declared a super-sensitive state due to its “history of violence”.
It also urged the poll panel to deploy central forces in the state for “free and fair” conduct of elections and also demanded withdrawal of former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar from election duty.
The BJP has been trying to improve its position in the state where it has mostly been a fringe player ever since its inception in 1980.
Till date, the BJP has bagged Lok Sabha seats in the state only thrice – one in 1998, two in 1999 (both in alliance with the Trinamool) and two in 2014 (by fighting alone). West Bengal has 42 Lok Sabha seats.