Panchayat polls in Punjab by May 15

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Chandigarh, Mar 20 (UNI) Accepting the plea of the state government, the Punjab Election Commission today decided to hold polls to the Gram Panchayats, Zila Parishads and Block Samitis in the state in the month of May.

''The polls will be held on or before May 15 and the entire process will be over in a couple of days from the polling date'', Election Commissioner A K Dubey said here today while indicating that the state government had been informed on this decision.

Mr Dubey said the model code of conduct would be enforced on the day the formal notification fixing the date of election is issued.

The Punjab Assembly had yesterday unanimously passed a resolution recommending to the Election Commission to defer the polls which were to be held on April seven. The Assembly had made this recommendation on the plea that the wheat harvesting season and the annual examinations of the state Universities are scheduled to commence early next month.

The resolution was moved by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal who pleaded that a large section of the voters in the rural areas would be busy with the wheat harvesting and may find it difficult to take part in the polling process. He had also pointed out that the polls could disturb the students who are busy preparing for their annual exams.

The governments decision had the backing of the Opposition Congress.

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