New Delhi, Dec 10: Buoyed by the Supreme Court verdict upholding a law which fixes minimum educational qualification for candidates contesting panchayat polls, the Haryana government today said it is in favour of holding Panchayat elections at the earliest.
Welcoming the apex Court decision, Haryana Development and Panchayats Minister Om Prakash Dhankar said the state government wants early polls and Election Commission has been intimated in this regard.
"Haryana would have only educated and crime free Panchayats. Also, the development of the villages would take place at an accelerated pace," Dhankar said reacting to the verdict. Giving details he said that minimum educational qualification for the candidates contesting elections has been fixed and now, general candidates must have passed class X examinations, whereas women and Dalit candidates are required to have cleared class VIII and class V respectively to contest the Panchayat polls.
As per a statement released here, Dhankar said the conditions fixed for the candidates of Panchayati Elections would also be observed in Municipal Committees and Municipal Corporations of Local Bodies Department polls. He said that Haryana would be the first State in the Country to have educated panchayats.
The minister said there are 29 tasks which are accomplished by panchayats and the village sarpanch can do works costing up to Rs 10 lakh.
For this, only educated representatives could take better decisions, he said. He said that other States would also follow the pattern of Haryana Panchayat Election. Dhankar said that as per the conditions fixed earlier for the candidates of Panchayat Elections, a sum of Rs 122 crore was received in the first phase of the elections while filling nomination forms.
Now, providing a certificate mentioning payment of electricity bills, disposing off of bank loans and having toilets at homes would be mandatory for contesting the panchayat election, he added as per the official statement.
Earlier the Supreme Court had dismissed a writ petition that challenged validity of Haryana's Panchayati Raj (amendment) Act 2015 which fixes matriculation as essential qualification for general candidates contesting panchayat polls, while the qualification for women (general) and Scheduled Caste candidates has been fixed at Class VIII.
However, in case of a woman candidate belonging to the Scheduled Caste category contesting election for the post of panch (panchayat head), the minimum qualification would be Class V.