West Bengal panchayat polls to be held in a single phase on July 8

Kolkata, Jun 8 (IANS): The elections for the three-tier panchayat system in West Bengal will be held in a single phase on July 8, newly-appointed State Election Commissioner Rajiva Sinha announced on Thursday.

"The election will be for two tiers in Darjeeling and Kalimpong district and for three tiers in the remaining part of the state. The process of nomination will start from July 9 and will continue till June 15. The model code of conduct will be applicable from Thursday only," Sinha told reporters.

The last day of the withdrawal of the nomination will be June 20.

Polling time will be from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and counting will probably be on July 11.

This means that the polling will take place at a time when already full-fledged monsoons will be arriving in West Bengal. However, the State Election Commissioner claimed that the arrival of the monsoons will not be much inconvenience in smoothly conducting the polls.

However, he did not specify whether his office will be seeking deployment of central paramilitary forces in rural civic body polls. According to him, it is too premature to make any comment on this count.

"This will be decided after discussion with the state government. All I can say is that everyone should have faith in the state government which is capable of conducting free and fair polls," Sinha said.

He also did not give any specific answer whether online nomination will be allowed which was done in the last rural civic body polls 2018 following an order of the Calcutta High Court. "The question on this count is relevant but too premature," he said.

The polls will be conducted for 58,694 seats in 3,317 gram panchayats in the state scattered over 22 districts in the state.



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Title: West Bengal panchayat polls to be held in a single phase on July 8

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