The panchayat elections in West Bengal will be held on May 14 and the results will be declared on May 17, PTI reported on Thursday. The State Election Commission announced the decision on the West Bengal government’s recommendation. The panchayat polls were earlier scheduled for May 1, May 3 and May 5.

Re-polling, if necessary, will be held on May 16, DNA reported. The run-up to the elections has been mired in controversy, with the Bharatiya Janata Party and other Opposition parties accusing the ruling Trinamool Congress of preventing their candidates from filing nomination papers.

Monday was the deadline to file nominations. Candidates have till Saturday to withdraw them. The Calcutta High Court has refused to interfere in the election process and on Wednesday did not grant the Opposition’s plea to extend the nomination deadline.

Earlier on Thursday, a delegation of West Bengal BJP workers met Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu in Delhi. “We demanded that the panchayat polls in West Bengal be held on time,” BJP leader Rahul Sinha later told reporters. “A number of BJP workers and 25 journalists were injured during clashes when nomination were being filed for the panchayat polls.”