"We have received a proposal in this regard from the State Election Commission (SEC) recommending these two dates for the forthcoming civic polls in the state and we have given our consent to the SEC," Hakim told reporters at the Writers' Building here.

While notification for the KMC polls would be issued on March 18, the same would be issued for polls in other 92 civic bodies on March 25, a month ahead in both cases, he said.     

Stating the process of conducting civic polls in the state was in full swing, state Election Commissioner S R Upadhyay on Monday said notifications would be issued simultaneously both by the state government and the SEC as per provisions in Section 36(3) of the West Bengal Municipal Election Act 1994.

Upadhyay further said he has convened a meeting of all District Magistrates and district Superintendents of Police of North Bengal, where polls would be held for 26 civic bodies, to discuss election preparations.     

A similar meeting would also be held with the DMs and SPs of South Bengal districts, he said.

To a question about his reported statement demanding central force for some sensitive pockets, Upadhyay said, "It is entirely misreporting by a section of media. I never demanded central force for any particular place. Speaking of my personal observation, I only said had there been central forces, it could have been better to conduct elections peacefully in some sensitive pockets."

"However, in the absence of central forces, the civic polls would be held with the help of state police," Upadhyay added.

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