New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to approach the Calcutta high court against the revocation of an order by which the state election commission had extended the deadline for filing nominations for panchayat elections.

Panchayat elections in West Bengal are to be held in three phases from 1 May to 5 May, with votes to be counted on 8 May.

Elections are to be held to 48,650 gram panchayat seats, 9,217 panchayat samiti seats and 825 zilla parishad seats. There are, in all, 50.8 million voters in the state.

On 9 April, the top court refused to interfere with the extension of date to file nomination papers for the panchayat elections.

However, it held that the parties and candidates were at liberty to approach the state election commission regarding extension of time for filing nomination papers.

The same evening, the state election commission extended the deadline for filing nominations till 3pm the next day, in light of the disruptions and violence that certain candidates faced while filing their nominations.

This extension of time was withdrawn the next day on the basis of “legal infirmities" in the order of the state election commission that allowed such extension. The BJP unit approached the top court challenging recall of the order allowing the extension.

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