West Bengal Panchayat Polls Likely To Hold On 14th & 16th May


Kolkata: West Bengal panchayat polls were earlier scheduled in May first week. But after the Calcutta High Court on Friday ordered the West Bengal State Election Commission to announce fresh dates for filing of nominations for panchayat polls, it likely to hold on 14th and 16th May.

The court cancelled the poll body’s notification that quashed its earlier order of extending the nomination process by one day on April 10 and directed the Commission to issue fresh date for filing of nomination papers.

On Saturday, the panel will meet the parties, including the Opposition, first to try and understand the problems they allegedly faced in trying to file nominations, followed by talks with the government, sources said.

Last week, the court issued a stay on the filing of nominations following allegations of large scale violence by the Opposition parties.

The panchayat elections were to be held in three phases from May 1 to May 5 and the counting of votes was scheduled on May 8. About 5.08 crore electorate or 74 per cent of the electors will vote in the polls.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee said the government was keen to wrap up the process before the Ramazan month begins in mid-May.

“We welcome the judgment. We want the elections as early as possible. We had planned to hold them in the first week of May as the temperature gets unbearable in the second week of May. Besides, we want the elections held before Ramazan,” Mamata said on Friday evening.