Lucknow: Security has been beefed up for the first phase of polling in 10 Lok Sabha seats in western Uttar Pradesh Thursday after hate speeches by politicians raised security concerns.
Election Commission officials said while a security plan had been worked out much in advance for the sprawling region, the scale was being upped following the recent hate speeches.
The communally sensitive region would get more than 250 companies of paramilitary forces to ensure smooth polling, officials told IANS.
While 180 companies are already stationed in the area, 70 companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) have also been put on electoral duty, an official said.
All those who do not belong to the region but were campaigning for various candidates have been asked to leave the constituencies.
Muzaffarnagar, where communal violence last year left over 60 people dead, has been allocated three additional superintendents of police and four deputy superintendents.
"Everything has been done to ensure peaceful, free and fair elections in the first phase," Umesh Sinha, chief electoral officer of Uttar Pradesh, told IANS.
BJP leader Amit Shah has run into trouble with the Election Commission after he asked voters to take "revenge" through the ballot box. Earlier, a Congress candidate threatened to chop BJP`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi but later apologized.