Education no bar for panchayat polls, PhDs, retired engineers, doctors in fray

Apart from retired engineers, college principals, forest officers, doctorates and post-graduates are also trying their luck.

Written by Ashwani Sharma | Shimla | Published: December 26, 2015 8:48 pm

Just a week left for Himachal Pradesh to go to the panchayat polls, the profiles of the candidates contesting the elections has really put a brighter side forward for the state.

Apart from retired engineers, college principals, forest officers, doctorates and post-graduates are also trying their luck.

A serving Superintendent of Police Surinder Verma, who until recently was district SP (Kullu), has taken a plunge in the grassroot politics at his home turf of Rohru. Verma, who recently retired from the police force, has chosen to contest for the post of pradhan at Koi panchayat.

Another prominent face of panchayat polls in the state is Dr Ramesh Singhta who is contesting the Zila Parishad poll from Sirmaur district. His Zila Parishad ward Kanda is part of Shilai assembly constituency, a lesser developed area. Singhta, a doctorate in Journalism and Mass Communication, had tried his luck in the earlier Panchayat polls.

“This time, conditions are far more better in my favou,” he says. Deputy Commissioner Kullu Rakesh Kanwar said the profile of the candidates in the district makes for a very interesting read to show that people have deep faith in grassroot democracy and want educated persons with a clean image to serve the society.

“There are lots of advocates like LLB, M.Com, B Ed, retired doctors and MBA in the fray for the panchayat pradhan and Zila Parishad wards. Some do have party affiliations but there are few exceptions too. Women candidates in the field are also educated and socially active,” he told the Indian Express.

Man Chand, a retired Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), is contesting Zila Parishad ward election in Kullu district. Hiteshwar Singh, son of senior politician and Kullu MLA Maheshwar Singh, holds a B.Com degree while his first cousin Aditya Vikram Singh (son of Ayurveda minister Karan Singh) pitting against Hiteshwar Singh, is an MBA.

In Bilaspur district, Bhag Singh, a retired District Food and Civil supplies officer is contesting Zila Parishad poll where Purshtam Singh, a retired engineer, Savitri Gautam, a retired principal and Neena Kaushal, who has academic qualifications as B.Sc (B.Ed) is also in the poll fray.

Says Madan Chauhan, deputy Commissioner Solan, “Once the elections are done and results are out, we will compile a database of all the elected candidates with their academic qualifications and life profiles.That will certainly be a good case study for the states which have invoked legislative means for the panchayats .We are one-up already,” he says.

The elections will be held on January 1,3 and 5,2016.

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