Open defecation ends leadership aspirations for many in Barmer

  • Mukesh Mathrani, Hindustan Times, Barmer
  • Updated: Jan 12, 2015 16:09 IST

Motaram and some other candidates contesting Panchayat general elections this time have probably never thought that their normal routine of defecating in the open would end their dreams of becoming a leader.

With a few months ago, they have begun working hard to burnish their reputation among the people considering the upcoming election.

But like many others in the area, they never bothered to build a toilet in his home.

As a result, their nominations were cancelled under new norms for panchayat elections that were introduced through a recent ordinance passed by the Rajasthan government.

Besides fixing the minimum qualification for candidates, the ordinance said there should be a functional toilet in the house of a candidate and no member of his family should defecate in the open.

"Earlier, hygiene was never an issue for them. After the authorities made a toilet mandatory, it forced them to focus on the issue. However, some candidates have successfully constructed lavatory and later successfully filed their nomination but some are there who failed. After new law came into force there a many in the district, those are facing the same problem. Many are there who were earlier dreaming become a leader but due to new norms have spoiled their plan," said Sabal Singh, a local leader of Barmer.

The nominations of about a dozen candidates in Barmer were rejected as they were not able to produce declaration of having toilets at their homes due to which their form got rejected, officials said.

According to information nominations of four candidates of Dhorimanna Panchayat Samiti were rejected because they did not submit a declaration about having a lavatory.
On the other side election department in Barmer also received several complaints that said some candidates had submitted false declarations about having a lavatory, the officials said.

Despite a dozen complaints regarding candidates for Gida Panchayat Samiti, nominations were not rejected because complainants did not provide concrete evidence, officials said.

According to Dalpat Dhatarwal, a resident of Baytu in Barmer and local news stringer claimed that however some candidates had recently constructed the lavatory soon after the new norms came into force but he himself had verified that some candidates have not lavatory at their home.

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