Kolkata, March 31: The upcoming Panchayat polls in West Bengal would be held in three phases in the first week of May, the State Election Commission announced on Saturday. “The Panchayat polls would be held in three phases on May 1, 3 and 5. The counting would be take place on May 8,” State Election Commissioner A.K. Singh told the reporters here. A total of 58, 467 polling stations will be set up in 20 districts for the over 5.08 crore voters, he said.
The first phase of elections would be held in 12 south Bengal districts including North and South 24 Pargas, Howrah, Hooghly, dia and the two Midpore districts. Polling in Murshidabad and Birbhum would be held in the second phase while the third phase of polling would comprise six districts in north Bengal.
Singh also said that the notice inviting nomitions for the polls would be issued from April 2 while the last date of submitting the nomitions would be April 9, adding that the model code of conduct for the elections came into force in the entire state starting Saturday. However, he remained silent on whether central force would be used to conduct the elections as per the demand of the state’s opposition parties. Reacting to the announcement, the state BJP accused the Bengal government of trying cut short the campaign time of the opposition parties and said they might move the courts.
“We are ready for the elections anytime. But the state government is trying to cut short time for election campaign by announcing the dates while the higher secondary examition is going on. We might move to court against this,” state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said.
Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sujan Chakraborty also termed the decision to announce the elections during the examition as “wrong” and said people of the state would give the ruling Trimool Congress a stern reply against their hooliganism. (IANS)