The Rajasthan Assembly on February 11, 2019, passed two Bills to scrap minimum education criterion for panchayat and civic poll candidates.
The House passed by voice vote the Rajasthan Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Rajasthan Municipality (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
The education criterion was introduced in 2015 by the previous Vasundhara Raje-led government according to which a candidate needs to pass Class X for contesting zila parishad, panchayat samiti and municipal elections.
Further, for contesting elections for sarpanch of a panchayat in scheduled and non-scheduled areas, it was mandatory to pass Class V and VIII, respectively.
Replying to the debate on the Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Amendment Bill, 2019, Panchayati Raj Minister Sachin Pilot said that the present government is committed for development of every section of the society.
“Sarpanches awarded by President, Vice President were declared ineligible due to the provisions in the previous Act. The Act was against the basics of the Constitution. Society cannot be divided on the basis of education,” Mr. Pilot said.
He said that education criterion should first be introduced for contesting Assembly and parliamentary elections.
The Rajasthan Municipality (Amendment) Bill, 2019, was presented by Local Self Government Minister Shanti Kumar Dhariwal.