Cricket and election ‘can’t go together’ in West Bengal

March 16th, 2009 - 9:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, March 16 (IANS) The West Bengal government has made it clear to the Indian Premier League (IPL) authorities that cricket matches and the polls “can’t go together as far as security is concerned”, an official said Monday.
IPL cricket matches can take place in Kolkata during the Lok Sabha elections only if the central government provides additional security forces, said additional chief home secretary of West Bengal Ardhendu Sen.

Sen was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a conference organised by Bharat Chamber of Commerce here.

“At least 4,000-5,000 police are (needed) in an IPL match. And now after the Lahore incident, we have to provide over 7,000 officers and make other massive arrangements, which is impossible during the polls,” Sen said.

“But if necessary force is made available to us by the central (government), we have no problem.”

Sen said the IPL authorities have revised their calendar but “still we have problem” with a May 4 match.

“We have told them to change it, and keep a minimum three-day gap between the poll date and the scheduled match so that we can move (security) personnel comfortably,” Sen said.

The Lok Sabha poll dates for West Bengal are April 30, May 7 and May 13.

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