The Kolkata High Court has asked the state Election Commission to put all procedures for West Bengal panchayat elections on hold till April 16. The court has sought a factual report on the elections from the Election Commission.
According to the directive of the court, no nomination can be filed on scrutinised for the panchayat polls unless the report is submitted by the polling body. Notably, the polling for the three-phased elections is slated to be held on May 1, 3 and 5 while the counting of vote has been scheduled for May 8.
The nominations for the elections were earlier slated to be submitted between April 2 and April 9.
Voting will take place in close to 58,500 polling stations across 20 of the 23 districts of the state. Over 5.08 crore electors are eligible to cast their votes in the election.
The panchayat elections promise to be a heated affair. The ruling Trinamool Congress will look to consolidate its grip on power, while the Left will be fighting hard to expand its presence in a state that was once its fortress. The BJP too is making efforts to expand its footprint in West Bengal, where it has historically been present in name only.
The heated political climate can be expected to add to tensions and possible violence in some parts of the state, which have for long been prone to violence clashes between the cadre of the main parties.