Kolkata: A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) delegation on Friday approached the West Bengal chief electoral officer (CEO) demanding the deployment of female Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) officers to check the veiled women, especially in Muslim-dominated polling stations.
The nine remaining parliamentary constituencies in the state will go to the polls in the last phase of Lok Sabha election on Sunday.
"There are Muslim polling stations and repeated complaints have come that men disguise under burqas (veil) and vote as women. I told the CEO that this idea has emerged in Bengal. We have demanded deployment of female CAPF officers so that they can allow voters inside after proper checking," Rahul Sinha, BJP national secretary and Lok Sabha candidate from Kolkata North, told reporters.
Sinha said it becomes difficult for a male officer to thoroughly check a women. He said the irregularity was common during elections in the 34-year rule of the Left Front.
Sinha referred to a recent video that went viral on social media in which a man was seen voting wearing a burqa in Uttar Pradesh. However, various media houses verified the video and discovered that it was an old clip which was being freshly circulated.
Sinha, along with other BJP leaders such as Jaiprakash Majumdar, sought proper deployment of central forces, CCTV coverage and action against people having criminal records to ensure free and fair polling.
"We want people to cast their votes without fear. We don't want them to be influenced. For us, the people's decision is of utmost importance and we will respect the outcome," Sinha said.
He also urged the people to leave all their work and go to the polling stations as early as possible on Sunday to exercise their franchise.