'Attack' on Mamata: EC asks Bengal administration to be more cautious about security for VVIPs

KOLKATA: In the wake of the Nandigram incident in which Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was hurt, the Election Commission has asked the state administration to be more cautious while planning for security arrangements for high-profile VVIPs when they campaign for the coming assembly election, an EC official said.

The state chief election officer Ariz Aftab along with ADG (Law and Order) and state nodal officer Jagmohan held virtual meetings with district magistrates in the state and asked to adopt strict security measures.

“The EC has said security arrangements must be made in a very cautious manner. We cannot be casual when it involves important high-profile VVIPs like the prime minister and the chief ministers. All DMs and the police administration have to be very alert when such figures come to the state to campaign for the coming elections,” the official said.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee was hurt while campaigning at Nandigram on Wednesday evening hours after she filed her nomination to contest from the seat in East Midnapore district, where she will take on her one time protege and now BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari.

She is now admitted to the state-run SSKM Hospital here.

Following the incident, the EC secretariat has sought reports from chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, special observer Ajay Nayak and special police observer Vivek Dubey by Friday 5pm.

Two EC special observers are likely to visit Purba Medinipur district on Friday in connection with the incident and hold meetings with senior officials in the district, sources in the CEO office said.

The eight-phased election to the 294 seats in West Bengal will be held between March 27 and April 29.

The counting of votes will take place on May 2.

Several important leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and chief ministers of several states have been visiting the state for campaigning.

Modi and Shah will be visiting West Bengal several more times for campaigning, BJP sources said.