Kolkata: Ending speculation, the State Election Commission (SEC) on Thursday announced that the panchayat polls in West Bengal will be held on May 14.
The counting will take place on May 17 and repolling, if any, will be held the day before, SEC secretary Nilanjan Shandilya told reporters here.
The SEC's announcement followed the Supreme Court direction to the state poll panel to ensure "free and fair" panchayat elections on May 14 in the state.
Shandilya said elections will be held in 621 zila parishads, 6157 panchayat samitis besides 31,827 gram panchayats.
The Supreme Court during the day stayed the Calcutta High Court order asking the West Bengal State Election Commission to accept nomination papers filed through e-mail for contesting the panchayat polls.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra took note of the fact that almost 17,000 candidates have won the panchayat polls unopposed and dubbed it "worrying" and directed the SEC not to declare them as winners.
The bench, also comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, directed the state poll panel to ensure "free and fair" panchayat elections on May 14 in the state.