KOLKATA: State Election Commissioner AK Singh has announced that West Bengal Panchayat polls will be held in three phases on 1, 3, and 5th May. Earlier last week, he had met representatives of political parties and discussed preparations for the panchayat polls. It is reported that polling in six districts including Maldah, Murshidabad, and Nadia, might be held in the second phase while the South Bengal election could be held in the third phase. BJP leader Mukul Roy had requested the Election Commission last month, to send 50 observers to West Bengal during the panchayat polls to learn how the ruling Trinamool Congress “rigged the poll process”.
Along with other state BJP leaders, he met Chief Election Commissioner of India Om Prakash Rawat and urged him to create a separate model of poll security for West Bengal. “We know that the panchayat elections are not conducted under the Election Commission. But we requested them to send a group of central observers to study and analyse how polls are being rigged in Bengal so that they can learn and create a separate poll security model for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections for West Bengal,” Roy said.
The election holds significance as it is the last major poll in the state before next year's general elections. If there are any accounts of repoll for first phase, it will be held on May 3, May 5 for the second phase, and May 7 for the third. Notification for the election will be issued this week while the last date for filing nominations is April 9. The SEC announced that the date of scrutiny of papers is April 11 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is April 16. Counting of votes will take place on May 8.