However, the poll body could not finalise the dates for the polls on Tuesday, despite a meeting between Officer on Special Duty of the state panchayat department, Sourav Das, and State Election Commissioner AK Singh, The Indian Express said.
"Polling will take place in 20 districts on May 14 and re-poll, if any, would be on May 16", he said on Thursday, adding that in accordance with the High Court direction, there will be talks with all stakeholders.
The elections were earlier slated to be held in three phases on May 1, 3 and 5. The Calcutta High Court, however, asked the SEC to reschedule the polls citing the alleged violence used by the ruling party cadres to prevent the Opposition candidates from filing the nominations. The Court has also directed the SEC to submit its report to the Court by April 30.
Under intense pressure from the Mamata Banerjee Government to complete rural poll process before the onset of Ramadan, the Bengal State Election Commission on Thursday announced single-phased Panchayat elections on May 14, opening up yet another possibility of judicial intervention. "The court has nullified all petitions of BJP regarding panchyat election", said Banerjee.
"Bengal is quite different from other states".
"Secondly, the SEC should ponder over what kind of security it is providing the voters". Does that mean all police stations will be under lock and key, and all personnel will guard the booths? "People wants the election to occur". Former Supreme Court judge Asok Banerjee wondered how the commission could agree to a single-day poll.
While interacting with reporters at Nabanna, the state secretariat, Banerjee said: "We are happy with the new dates". "The misconceived motion for the impeachment of the Chief Justice of India is just one example of this", said, Jaitley, who is also Leader of the Rajya Sabha.
Talking to newsmen the veteran parliamentarian wondered on Wednesday, "why the Chief Minister is trying to grab all the power". Mamata, keen to upset the BJP's apple-cart during next year's Parliamentary elections, is now taking the issue forward by discussing with like-minded parties.