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Panchayat polls likely to kick off in early May, predict parties

Kolkata: Though there has been no official declaration of dates for the forthcoming Panchayat election, there is strong speculation by the political parties that it would take place in early May.
According to the sources, the Panchayat polls for 60,000 seats would be held in three phases and the entire process of the election would be completed by the second week of May.
It has been learnt that the election process would be completed before Ramzan and that is the reason behind the Panchayat elections to be held in early May.
Notification for the poll has to be issued 33 days ahead of the election date and in that case, the notification in this regard has to be issued by the beginning of April, if the election has to be held in early May.
The West Bengal State Election Commission also held the all-party meeting on Thursday in connection with the elections. State Election Commissioner A K Singh met representatives of all the political parties.
Subrata Bakshi, Trinamool Congress president, represented his party in the meeting. The political parties in the Opposition have urged the election commission to look into the matter, so that they get sufficient time for campaigning.
It was on March 26 when the top brass of the election commission held a meeting with senior officials of the state government in this connection and issues, including maintenance of the law and order situation during the elections, were discussed.
Chief Secretary Malay De, Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya and Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purkayastha were present in the meeting, along with the State Election Commissioner.
Before meeting the senior-most administrative and police officers of the state, the commission also held meetings with district magistrates and superintendents of police of all the districts. District Panchayat and rural development officers were also called for the meeting, when the commission took stock of the situation in different places in the state.
Sources said that there will be observers in both district and block levels. There will be observers in all the 342 blocks, who will be working under the supervision of district observers.
Though the date of the poll is yet to be announced, the political parties have started doing their groundwork to perform well in the Panchayat election, which the political parties are considering as an acid test before the general elections in 2019.

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