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Haryana plans Bill to rotate panchayat seats between men and women

Speaking to The Indian Express on Monday, Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala said the government will bring the Bill in the coming Assembly session.

Written by Sukhbir Siwach | Chandigarh | August 25, 2020 12:13:39 am
Dushyant Chautala, Dushyant Chautala leadership, JJP party, Haryana politics, Indian ExpressDushyant Chautala is deputy chief minister of Haryana. (File Photo)

The Haryana government is planning to bring a Bill to provide 50:50 reservation in panchayat polls for men and women candidates, and rotate the seats between male and female representatives after each term. This is meant to ensure equal opportunities for both sexes, Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala said.

Speaking to The Indian Express on Monday, Chautala said the government will bring the Bill in the coming Assembly session.

The two-day Assembly session begins on Wednesday.

“Haryana will be first in the country to opt for such a formula,” said Chautala, who also holds the panchayat portfolio in the BJP-JJP government.

“Men and women will be able to contest panchayat polls under the odd-even formula. This will be implemented for sarpanches and members of village wards, block samitis and zila parishads. If a ward or village is headed by a man in one term, it will be represented by a woman in the next term,” said Chautala.

The Deputy CM said the Bill is not meant as reservation for women but to ensure equal opportunities for men and women. He pointed out that women have more than 67 per cent representation in panchayat bodies in some states that have given them 50 per cent reservation.

The JJP leader expressed confidence that the Assembly would pass the Bill in the coming session. “We hope to get support from leaders across party lines. The Assembly has nine women MLAs from different parties, but there will be 50 per cent share to their voice in panchayats after implementation of the proposal,” said Chautala.

He said he was satisfied with the performance of women representatives in panchayat bodies, and that some panchayats led by women were very progressive. “We feel that if women get more opportunities in panchayats, there will be better work culture,” he said.

“We will hold panchayat polls soon after the Covid-19 situation improves in the state,” he added.

Chautala also said they would try to introduce Right to Recall for representatives of panchayat bodies. Under this provision, an elected representative can be removed by voters if he or she fails to perform as per their minimum expectations.

Congress MLA BB Batra told The Indian Express that the party would take a call regarding the Bill and other matters in a meeting of the CLP on Tuesday.

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