The notification for the upcoming rural elections in West Bengal is likely to be issued after March 15.

The State Government has decided to postpone discussions on the Governor’s Address in the upcoming Budget session of the Assembly and complete procedures related to the State Budget by that date.

“We want the Budget, Appropriation Bill and votes on account to be passed by the State Assembly at the earliest as the panchayat elections are scheduled in the State,” said the State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Partha Chatterjee here on Friday after an all-party meeting at the State Assembly convened by  the Speaker, Biman Bandyopadhyay.

Asked whether the postponement of discussions on the Governor’s Address and completion of Budget procedures by March 15 indicated that the notification will be issued after that date, Mr. Bandyopadhyay said, “That is what it amounts to.”

He declined to elaborate.

Mr. Bandyopadhyay said the notifications for panchayat elections are issued by the Government in consultation with the State Election Commission.

State Chief Secretary Sanjoy Mitra had said in February that the Government had written to the Election Commission seeking two phases for the rural polls.The Government had also informed the Commission about the break-up of districts that would go to polls in a particular phase.

Although there has been no formal announcement about the dates fr the rural polls so far, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that they will be held as per the schedule.

The five-year term of the elected local panchayats, panchayat samities and zila parishads ends this coming May.