WB govt seeks Rs 35 cr as expenses for deployment of central forces during Panchayat polls
A Calcutta High Court order directed the central government to bear the entire cost of force deployment in West Bengal
The West Bengal government on Friday sought Rs 35 crore from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs as expenses for the deployment of central forces during the recently-held panchayat polls in the state.
As per a Calcutta High Court order, the Central government is supposed to bear the entire cost of deployment of the forces.
Under the same order, the central forces are supposed to remain in West Bengal till July 22.
The state seeking the amount from the MHA comes amid a case pending at the Calcutta High Court on charges of “ineffective” deployment and utilisation of central armed forces, with the court seeking reports both from the state election commission and the Wset Bengal government on this count.
The inspector general of Border Security Force (BSF) S.C. Budakoti, who was the central nodal officer for the polls, has also given a report accusing the state election commission of extending non- cooperation in effective force deployment and utilisation.
State government sources said that this Rs 350 crore will be in addition to the pending Rs 1,852 crore demanded for the deployment of central armed forces for earlier elections and for areas dominated by the left- wing extremists (LWE).
The state government’s contention is that since central forces are deployed by the Election Commission of India (ECI) for Parliamentary or Assembly polls, the Centre should bear the costs.