On Tuesday 11 August 2015, Haryana Cabinet passed some amendments for those candidates who contest in Panchayat elections. The amendments were primarily focused on educational qualifications. From now onwards, the candidates belonging to general category must have passed atleast 10th class and those of Scheduled Caste must have completed atleast 8th class in order to contest Panchayat Elections. Other amendments included the presence of functional toilets in the homes of contesting candidates and candidates must not have any criminal charges framed in the court against them.
These amendments were passed at Haryana Cabinet that was presided by Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Lal Khattar . According to Khattar, minimum educational requirements were needed to improve the quality of leadership. CM was also of the opinion that illiteracy should not be given as reason for excuse and elected representatives would be more accountable.
Elected representatives gave illiteracy as an excuse for poor functioning of gram panchayats, zila parishads, panchayat samities and hence prescribing minimum educational qualification was compulsory. CM Khattar also said that friends, relatives of the elected members of panchayati raj took advantage of the illiterate representatives as the representatives were dependent on them totally.
Major reforms done under Khattar Government :
As per the second amendment, those persons who were framed by the court for criminal offences subjected to 10 years of imprisonment, would not be allowed to contest in the elections till they were cleared by the court. There is a provision which disqualifies the persons convicted by courts from taking part in the elections and there were many occasions when people were let off due to fault in the investigation procedure and for non-fulfillment of technical qualifications like lack of strong prosecution.
Defaulters of co-operative loans would be disqualified from contesting the elections as per the third amendment. Only persons without any dues for rural electricity connections would be eligible to contest. Self certified statement would have to be filed by the candidates participating in the elections stating that there is a functioning toilet in their houses.