The Rajasthan panchayati raj department has declared 945 elected representatives ineligible to contest panchayat polls this year as they either faced corruption charges or had violated the official norm of having only two children.
The department sent their names to all 33 district collectors a day before January 3, the first day for filing nominations for the first phase of the three-phase elections. The polling for the first phase will begin on January 16 and the elections will conclude on February 8. The disqualified members were elected during the 2010 panchayat polls. However, it is not clear whether they were planning to enter the fray this time too.
According to a panchayati raj official, the district collectors would ensure that the disqualified members do not file nominations and, if they did, their papers would be rejected.
Reacting to the development, Congress vice-president Archana Sharma said the move was justified, but it needed to be crosschecked to make sure that the department was not misinformed in this regard. All attempts to contact the affected parties failed.
Sirohi district had the maximum number of 91 disqualified members, followed by Pali ( 87), Ajmer ( 86), Nagaur ( 68), Jaipur (67), Alwar (58), Bhilwara (36), Bikaner (16), Bundi (20), Chittorgarh ( 18), Dausa ( 23), Dholpur (04), Dungarpur (25), Rajsamand (29), Sriganganagar (22), Jalore (37), Jhalawar (17), Sikar (38), Tonk (32), Udaipur (23), Jhunjhunu (37), Jodhpur (37), Kota (13), Banswara (11), Bharatpur ( 10), Karauli ( 9), Hanumangarh (6), Baran (6), Sawai Madhopur (5), Jaisalmer (4), Pratapgarh (2) and Barmer (1). On Monday, the Supreme Court had thrown out two PILs challenging the Rajasthan government’s ordinance prescribing educational qualification, ranging from Class 5 to Class 10, for panchayat election candidates.
The panchayat polls will elect 33 zila pramukhs and as many deputy zila pramukhs, 295 pradhans and as many deputy pradhans, 1013 zila parishad members, 6258 panchayat samiti members, 9872 sarpanchs and as many deputy sarpanchs and 10,94,69 panchs.