Bengaluru: Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel conduct a flag march ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections, in Bengaluru on April 5, 2019. . Image Source: IANS News

Kolkata, April 19 : A total of 324 companies of central forces are being deployed to man 90 per cent of the polling stations in the third phase of Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal scheduled to be held on April 23, a top official said on Friday.

"324 companies of central forces are being deployed for the third phase of elections. 90 per cent of the booths will be manned by central forces only," said Vivek Dube, Special Police Observer for the state.

Voters in five constituencies -- Malda North, Malda South, Jangipur, Murshidabad and Balurghat -- will cast their votes in the third phase.

Dube is scheduled to go to Malda on Saturday, followed by a visit to Balurghat.

"During this visit, I shall meet the leaders of all the political parties and take their suggestions. Subsequently, I shall discuss the arrangements made by the District Electoral Officer, police superintendents, observers and commanding officers of the central forces for the third phase," Dube said.

Earlier, Ajay V. Nayak, Special Observer appointed by the Election Commission, said that 90 per cent of all the polling booths will be covered by the central forces from the third phase onwards.

"I think the elections will be more and more to the satisfaction of all the political parties," Nayak told reporters here.

According to Nayak, around 50 per cent booths were manned by the central forces in the first phase. "The number was increased to almost 80 per cent in the second phase. And the results were very much apparent."
Asked about reports of a nodal officer going missing in Nadia, Nayak said: "I think it has something to do with his personal life and probably he was in depression. As he is not around, I am told another officer has been given the charge."

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