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Conspiracy to stall panchayat polls has failed: Mamata

Kolkata, May 14 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday said the opposition parties' conspiracy to stall the panchayat polls has failed with the Calcutta High Court paving the way for concluding the three-phase elections by July 15.

She hailed the court decision empowering the government to notify within three days the election schedule in consultation with the State Election Commission.

"We have been trying to hold the panchayat polls since last month. We are happy that the polls will finally be held now. I am happy that the conspiracy by the opposition parties to stall the polls has been defeated," Banerjee told reporters here.

The decision of the court's division bench of Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice J.M. Bagchi came as a respite to the government which had appealed against the court's earlier verdict upholding the primacy of the State Election Commission (SEC) in directing the conduct of the polls in June.

Banerjee said the summer heat and the rains may be a problem for the voters but "all's well that ends well".

Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee also welcomed the "historic" and "practical" court verdict, saying the government will take all measures to ensure fair and peaceful elections.