As Bongaon, Barrackpur, Howrah, Uluberia, Serampur, Hooghly and Arambag goes to poll on Monday in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections, it will be manned only by central forces, unlike previous phases that have seen large scale violence. 

My Nation was the first to break that the Election Commission decided last Tuesday to post paramilitary and central forces at each and every booth in Bengal for the remaining phases of the Lok Sabha elections. 

Confirming this the special police observer for Bengal, Vivek Dubey said, "A total of 578 companies of central forces are being deployed for the fifth phase of Lok Sabha election." He said that every polling booth will be covered by central forces. 

But why such a sudden decision in the middle of the election. Commission sources said they have received multiple representations from opposition parties in Bengal as well as inputs from their state and district observers from areas where the election has already been taken place in Bengal. 

They said the reports portray a gloomy picture. The election so far in Bengal, which is witnessing an unprecedented 7-phase-poll, has been punctuated with events of intimidation, booth capturing, violence and even throwing of bombs at polling booths.

As the violence soared, so did the deployment of central forces in Bengal. In the first phase, 50 % to 76 % central forces were posted in Bengal for the second phase. It sprung to a whopping 92 % in the third phase and which further rose to 98% in the fourth phase when Babul Supriyo’s Asansol saw massive violence. 

With political violence refusing to die, EC didn't want to take any more chances. In the fifth phase, the cover of central forces will be increased to 100 %, which means each and every polling booth will have them present. 

Here are the 5 scariest developments in Bengal that must have necessitated the action of the Election Commission

1. In an entire Muslim-dominated, Trinamool-ruled village in Raiganj, Hindus were not allowed to vote.

2. A voter was killed during the third phase of the Lok Sabha election in Murshidabad while the house of another was bombed during voting in Shantipur.

3. The body of a polling agent was found hanging at his residence mysteriously in Buniadpur.

4. While the car of CPI(M)'s Md Selim was attacked in Raiganj during the third phase of polling, the fourth phase saw Union minister and BJP MP Babul Supriyo's car vandalised near a polling station of Asansol.

5. The body of a BJP activist was found hanging from a tree during this election in Purulia.

6. In Birbhum, miscreants ran away with EVMs, not letting the polling process to start before 8:30 AM.

 7. Across the state, wherever elections were held, the cadre and workers of the BJP, CPM and Congress were intimidated, heckled, manhandled and, in a few cases, killed.

The effort on part of the election commission is to minimise the prevailing violence in Bengal with an unprecedented 100% Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) deployment. As Monday nears, the electorate of Bengal is hoping for a 'free and fair election' that has become an unseen reality in Bengal.