The West Bengal State Election Commission (SEC) on Saturday announced three-phase panchayat polls in May.

Panchayat polls will be held in three phases on 1, 3 and 5 May, State Election Commissioner AK Singh told reporters. The counting of votes will take place on 8 May.

The SEC earlier this week met representatives of political parties and discussed preparations for the panchayat polls.

According to a report in the Times of India, polling in six districts, including Maldah, Murshidabad and Nadia, might be held in the second phase, while the South Bengal election could be held in the third phase.

The West Bengal panchayat elections were in

the spotlight last month when BJP leader Mukul Roy requested the Election Commission to send 50 observers to West Bengal during the panchayat polls to learn how the Trinamool Congress "rigged the poll process".

Roy, along with other state BJP leaders, met Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat and urged the body to create a separate model of poll security for West Bengal.

"We know that the panchayat elections are not conducted under the Election Commission. But we requested them to send a group of central observers to study and analyse how polls are being rigged in Bengal so that they can learn and create a separate poll security model for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections for West Bengal," Roy said.
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