The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s plea seeking a direction to the Election Commission to carry out the delimitation exercise in newly created districts in Tamil Nadu before conducting panchayat and local body elections, PTI reported. The top court will hear the plea on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the state Election Commission announced that local body polls in Tamil Nadu will be held in two phases on December 27 and December 30. The counting of votes will take place on January 2, 2020.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde took note of the submissions made by advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the DMK. The counsel urged the top court to hear the petition urgently as the schedule for elections had been announced. Singhvi said the poll process had been set in motion “without concluding the legal formalities” with regard to the delimitation exercise and reservation aspects, taking into consideration the five new districts carved out in Tamil Nadu.

The DMK in its petition had argued for delimitation, reservation and rotation process to be completed before the issuance of election notification, so that the process would be free and fair. It had said there was a lack of clarity on which areas belong to which wards in the new districts.

The state government had said that the polls would be conducted in accordance with the delimitation process completed in 2018.

The local body elections have not been held since 2016.

Meanwhile, the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has accused the DMK of trying to stall the elections.