Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Friday said that the poll panel has taken stock of the preparations ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections, reported ANI. Arora said the Election Commission of India was committed to conducting elections in a “free, fair, ethical and safe” manner.

Elections to the Bengal Assembly are likely to be held in April-May.

“We had in-depth interaction with political parties,” Arora said during a media briefing. “Most had concerns of law and order situation and spoke of high voltage electioneering which could precipitate into political violence and threatened vitiating the electoral process.”

Arora said that the political parties also called for “optimal deployment” of the Central Armed Police Forces or CAPFs. Some political parties also cited “anomalies in the electoral rolls”, he added.

Arora said the poll body has been assured by the West Bengal chief secretary, the director general of police, and the home secretary that no civic police volunteers would be allowed anywhere near election-related activities. “We had in-depth interaction with the political parties,” the election official said, according to India Today. “We had another interaction with all central and state enforcement agencies. We met till about 10:30 pm last night [Thursday] with district magistrates, police commissioners, superintendents of police, inspector generals, and regional commissioners.”

The election body chief added that the poll panel has a “zero-tolerance” policy for “money and muscle power or misuse of government machinery”, reported PTI.

The ruling Trinamool Congress had on Thursday alleged that the Border Security Force was threatening the residents of border areas in West Bengal to cast their votes in favour of a particular political party. The party made the allegations during a meeting with the full bench of the Election Commission.

Responding to the TMC’s claims, Arora on Friday called the allegations “unfortunate”, adding that it was one of the finest forces of the country. He also called for evidence to be presented to support the party’s claims.