Haryana extends education rule to municipal polls

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Chandigarh, Dec 30: After Panchayat polls, the Haryana government on Tuesday decided to impose similar minimum education criteria for candidates seeking to contest the municipal elections.

The state cabinet decided to amend Section 13-A of the Haryana Municipal Act, 1973 and Section 8 of the Haryana Municipal Corporation Act, 1994, to stipulate the eligibility conditions for candidates for the urban local bodies.

According to these changes, in the general category, male candidates must have passed Class X, while female candidates must have passed Class VIII. In the reserved category, male candidates must have passed Class VIII, while female candidates must have passed Class V.

“Besides, all the candidates contesting the elections to urban local bodies have to file a declaration that they have provision for a functional toilet at their residence,” said Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who chaired the cabinet meeting.

The cabinet also decided that persons who have been charged with grave criminal offences punishable with more than 10 years imprisonment will be debarred from contesting the elections till they are acquitted by the courts.

Similarly, defaulters of cooperative loans and payment of electricity bills will also be debarred. “To bring qualitative improvement in the working of the urban local bodies, there is a need to include minimum qualification for a person willing to contest such elections,” said Khattar.

“Another reason for prescribing minimum educational qualification is that even after the introduction of the 74th constitutional amendment, illiteracy is a common excuse given by the elected representatives for poor functioning of the urban local bodies,” he said.

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