File image of Election Commission of India office in New Delhi

A high-level team of the Election Commission of India (ECI) will visit Assam, Manipur and Tripura to assess poll preparedness for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

The team led by Deputy Election Commissioner, Sudip Jain will be touring the three north-eastern states from Saturday till March 19.

This was decided in a meeting of the ECI held in New Delhi on Thursday.

The team will also visit West Bengal.

The delegation would visit West Bengal on Saturday, Tripura on Sunday, Assam on Monday and Manipur on Tuesday.

The move comes a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) urged the ECI to declare West Bengal a ‘super-sensitive state’.

On Wednesday, a BJP delegation, led by Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and comprising Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and J P Nadda and party general secretaries Bhupender Yadav and Kailash Vijayvargiya, met ECI officials and demanded that West Bengal be declared a super-sensitive state due to its ‘history of violence’.

It also urged the ECI to deploy central forces in the state for ‘free and fair’ conduct of elections and also demanded withdrawal of former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar from election duty.

Till date, the BJP has bagged Lok Sabha seats in the state only thrice – one in 1998, two in 1999 (both in alliance with the Trinamool) and two in 2014 (by fighting alone). West Bengal has 42 Lok Sabha seats.


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