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Stage set for rural polls in West Bengal on Monday

Kolkata: After a protracted legal battle, the much-awaited panchayat polls are all set to be held on Monday in the eastern state of West Bengal amid tight security.
The polls will be the last major elections in the state before the next year's Lok Sabha polls. Political parties are viewing Monday's event as a warm-up match ahead of 2019 general elections.
Polling will begin at 7 am (IST) on Monday and end at 5 pm. The counting will take place on May 17.
The run-up to the single-phase panchayat polls was marked by intense campaigning. The ruling Trinamool Congress was engaged in a bitter war of words with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian National Congress (INC) and the Left Front over the violence that erupted during the filing of nominations for the polls.
The opposition had accused the ruling TMC of letting loose a reign of terror during the nomination process. The TMC rubbished the allegations, saying the opposition did not have a mass base and ware trying to evade the polls.
The filing of nominations, which was held from April 2 to April 9 and then again on an extended date on April 23, was marked by violence and clashes between the ruling TMC and opposition parties that led to several deaths.

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