The Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora Tuesday said the reason for spreading voting in West Bengal assembly polls to eight phases is the rising hooliganism, lawlessness and crime in the state.
He also said almost all the Election Commission officials and non-Trinamool parties had favoured eight-phase voting in the state.
Arora’s interview was published in The Economic Times.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha, had gone public with the comment that he favoured eight-phase voting in Bengal.
The voting in Bengal in the last assembly election in 2016 had taken place in seven phases. In the 2019 Lok Sabha poll also, voting had taken place in seven phases.
The Trinamool Congress had accused the Election Commission of acting in cahoots with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party at the centre.
Arora also said the data of the National Crime Records Bureau was also taken into consideration before finalising the plan.
The voting for the 294-seat West Bengal Assembly is spread over eight phases, starting March 27. The counting of votes will start on May 2.