The Supreme Court on Friday directed that the West Bengal panchayat polls be rescheduled and held in five phases, beginning July 11.
A Bench comprising Justice A K Patnaik and Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that the polls would be held on July 11, 15, 19, 22 and July 25. The poll was earlier scheduled to be conducted in three phases from July 2. The Bench further said that the state government would provide 35,000 security personnel for each of the poll phases and that the Centre would provide 15,000 security personnel for the first two phases, 25,000 personnel for the third and fourth phases and 2,000 personnel for the final and last phase.
The Bench passed the order on a petition filed by the State Election Commission. The Bench passed the orders after hearing the submissions of senior counsel and former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, appearing for West Bengal; senior counsel Samaraditya Pal, appearing for the State Election Commission and advocate Amarendra Sharan, appearing for the state Panchayat Raj Secretary and Additional Solicitor General Rakesh Khanna, who appeared for the Centre.