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The Election Commission (EC) said Monday that, as part of a regular exercise, the dispatch of central police forces to West Bengal was carried out and was not confined to one state. Central force companies have been dispatched to each of the four poll-bound states, including Assam, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the EC said.

A day after the Trinamool Congress, responding to the intervention of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in West Bengal, the Commission’s statement accused the BJP of “treating the polls as war, not elections.”

The Commission stated that the CAPF is routinely sent for “advance area domination, especially in the critical and vulnerable sectors which are identified by meticulous advance reviews and concrete feedback from various sources including political parties and entities”.  It said this proven practice dates back to the 1980s.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the Commission met with Shamsheer Vayalil, a Dubai-based businessman who appealed to the Supreme Court for public interest litigation, seeking voting rights for NRIs. “He was informed that the matter is under active and empathic consideration of ECI.”

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