The Election Commission proposes to deploy a record 30,000 Central Para-Military Force (CPMF) personnel for next month’s assembly elections in Tripura, a top police officer said on Friday.
“The Election Commission has asked the Union Home Ministry to deploy around 30,000 (300 companies) CPMF personnel in Tripura for conduct of the assembly elections in the state next month. Therefore, the MHA has decided to deploy them well ahead of the polling day,” said the officer who wished not to be identified.
He said: “The CPMF would comprise Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). The CPMF troopers, led by senior officers, have started arriving from Friday.
They would reach the state in a phased manner and would fan out across the state.” The state already has over 35,000 security force personnel comprising state and CPMF, including BSF, CRPF and Tripura State Rifles.
During the last assembly elections in February 2013, around 20,000 CPMF personnel were deployed in the mountainous bordering state.
Meanwhile, an official of the state Election Department said the Election Commission is likely to declare the schedule of assembly elections in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland within a week or so. The three northeastern states would go to polls simultaneously in February.
Several delegations of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had met the poll panel in New Delhi and urged it to hold the assembly elections in a free and fair manner.
Communist Party of India-Marxist state Secretary Bijan Dhar told the media on Friday: “The BJP is trying to defer the assembly polls in Tripura to get undue political mileage.
“The party has been conspiring against the Left Front government in the state, but their every effort would be foiled by the conscious people of the state.”
The BJP, however, denied the allegations. Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy on Wednesday met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi and discussed various issues.
A Raj Bhavan official said the Governor talked about the prevailing law and order situation in the poll-bound state. Although the official did not disclose what exactly transpired between the two leaders, the meeting assumes importance in view of the BJP’s allegation of deteriorating law and order situation in the Left-ruled state.
The final electoral rolls of Tripura were published on January 5. According to the final rolls, on the basis of which the elections would be held, in all 2,569,216 voters, including 1,265,785 females, have been enrolled in the electoral rolls — increasing by 2.52 per cent voters from last year’s voter list.
“We are getting ready on all fronts to hold the assembly elections smoothly. The Election Commission is in close touch with the state officials about the preparations of the elections,” Tripura Chief Electoral Officer Sriram Taranikanti said.
The poll panel has already announced that Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machines attached to the Electronic Voting Machines would be used in all the polling stations of the three states.
Even before the announcement of the election schedule, all the political parties, including the ruling CPI-M -led Left Front and opposition BJP and the Congress, have started hectic political activities and campaigning to woo the voters.