In a measure taken to curb open defecation in MP’s Betul district, a nomination for the upcoming by-election here was rejected on Monday, citing the candidate did not have a toilet in his house.
Collector Shashank Mishr, while reviewing the nomination forms submitted for the post of zila panchayat member, found that there is no toilet in the house of an applicant. He declared the candidate as disqualified. The rejected application belonged to one Santosh Pandram, who disclosed in the form that he did not have a toilet at home.
“A provision in election commission allows the state to bar candidates who do not have a toilet in their house from contesting in panchayat elections. The bill was passed recently. This is probably the first time someone has taken a decision like this,” the collector said.
Betul district has been in news several times for measures taken to curb open defecation in the street. In October, heads of Masod village in Betul had taken a unique initiative in which drums were beaten to shame people seen defecating in the open. In Chowkiya village, the name of the defaulter would be announced on loudspeaker at panchayat bhawan, if spotted committing the act.
A woman named Anita Narre was lauded for leaving her husband’s house two days after marriage because there was no toilet in the house. She returned eight days after, when her husband Shivram, a daily wage labourer, built one with the help of others.