ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Excluding the Deprived

Haryana’s Panchayati Raj

The conditions imposed by the amendment to the panchayati raj law in Haryana have not only excluded a large section of the population from contesting elections but have also deprived voters of their right to choose. All appropriate measures must be undertaken to ensure that these exclusionary conditions are withdrawn.

The panchayati raj elections in Haryana were held in January under the Haryana Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Act, 2015 brought about by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.

The amendments impose rather regressive conditions for contesting elections. The candidate’s educational qualification is one such criterion; failure to repay loans taken from cooperative societies, electricity bill arrears, not having a pucca functional toilet at one’s residence and being chargesheeted in criminal cases that specify imprisonment up to 10 years are some others. The Rajasthan government also led by the BJP had imposed similar conditions in 2014 just before the panchayat elections in that state.

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