Congress to challenge Rajasthan panchayat poll education norm

Jaipur, Jan 4 (IANS) The Congress and some other parties will Monday file a petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the Rajasthan government’s ordinance on educational qualification for contesting panchayat polls, Congress leader Sachin Pilot said Sunday.

The panchayat election will be held from Jan 16 and counting will be held Feb 5.
“We along with other political parties, including the Nationalist Congress Party, Samajwadi Party and Janata Dal-United, have decided to file a petition tomorrow (Monday) in the Supreme Court challenging the ordinance on minimum educational qualification in the panchayat polls,” Pilot, who is the state unit president of the Congress, told IANS.
Criticising the Vasundhara Raje government, he said over 50 percent of the population would not be able to contest the elections due to the education rider.
Terming the ordinance “unfair and unjust”, Pilot said it would have been better if the government had discussed the matter in the state assembly in place of bringing it through an ordinance.
He said when there was no such educational rider for parliamentary or assembly polls, then why should the government have such a rider for the panchayat polls.
“If there was such a rider for the assembly or Lok Sabha polls, then over 20 BJP legislators and two parliamentarians would not have been able to contest the elections,” he said.
As per the ordinance issued in December, a contestant should be a Class 10 passout for contesting the zila parishad or panchayat samiti polls and a Class 8 passout for the sarpanch elections in general category.
Social activist Aruna Roy has also filed a petition in the Supreme Court which will come up for hearing Monday.