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Petitions filed in supreme court challenging ordinance fixing educational qualification for panchayat polls

One of the petitions was filed by five existing women sarpanch and panchayat samiti members.

Written by Sweta Dutta | Jaipur |
Updated: January 1, 2015 9:17:01 pm

Two writ petitions were filed in the Supreme Court on Thursday challenging the Rajasthan government’s recent ordinance fixing minimum educational qualifications for contesting panchayat polls. One of the petitions was filed by five existing women sarpanch and panchayat samiti members who will be affected by the ordinance while the other by Association for Democratic Rights and Others.

On Friday the petitions will be placed before the Chief Justice, who will then decide whether the petitions will be taken up as priority applications. The ordinance issued by the Rajasthan government last month debars uneducated candidates from contesting panchayat polls. The ordinance has fixed Class VIII pass as the minimum qualification for contesting sarpanch elections and in scheduled areas Class V pass. For contesting zila parishad and panchayat samiti polls a candidate has to be Class X pass.

Civil society groups, former judges and bureaucrats, the Opposition Congress and affected rural populace have been protesting the move since the ordinance was passed in mid-December. The decision debars around 80 percent of the rural population in the state from contesting the election, according to civil society groups.

The model code of conduct for the upcoming panchayat polls has already been implemented and the elections are slated for January 16 and counting on February 5.

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