BJP fixes more riders for poll aspirants in R'than

No party tickets for relatives of elected representatives

Amid strong protest against the minimum education criteria fixed by the Rajasthan government for the Panchayati Raj poll candidates, the state BJP has introduced more conditions, leading to resentment among the candidates.

The party’s state unit president Ashok Parnami said relatives of elected representatives and office-bearers will not be given tickets.

“The directives have come straight from the national leadership. None of the relatives or family members of elected representatives and office-bearers will be given ticket this time,” said Ashok Parnami.

“However, special circumstances will be considered. But the final decision will be taken by party high command,” Parnami said.

Meanwhile, the party has issued a directory containing rules to be followed by ticket aspirants.

It is a detailed explanation of mandatory norms like the minimum education qualification, toilets in the houses and about filling up the nomination papers.

While Panchayat elections are due in January, the minimum election qualification norm has become a big issue.

Members of civil societies and several social activists have come together against the new norm and have written to Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.

Several former justices and two former chief election commissioners have also come against the decision.

It includes former chief election commissioners James Lyngdoh, S Y Quraishi, former chief justices Rajinder Sachar, retired Justice K Chandru, retired admiral R Tahiliani, social activist Aruna Roy and former additional solicitor general of India Indira Jaising and many others.

Opportunity denied
According to them more than 80 per cent of women have lost their candidature because of the new law.

“The new law is against right to equality guaranteed by our constitution. An uneducated and resourceful woman can contest Assembly and Lok Sabha polls than why a rural woman who is uneducated cannot contest panchayat polls. The law has already put 80 per cent of women candidates, out of poll fray,” said Kavita Srivastav, of People’s Union for Civil Liberties, PUCL.

In an open letter to Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, they termed as “retrograde, undemocratic and unconstitutional” the ordinance, which according to them, will debar more than 90 per cent of rural Rajasthani women from contesting elections.

“Literacy rates for rural SCs are even lower – with less than 50 per cent rural SCs literate and 31 per cent rural SC women and 25 per cent rural ST women literate as per 2001 census,”  the letter said.

While we would support, and welcome any effort to improve these figures, we do not believe debarring those who have been marginalised from school education will help correct this situation,” the letter added.
DHNS & Agencies

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