With uncertainty prevailing over the schedule for panchayat elections following the Haryana government’s refusal to withdraw the condition of educational qualification being mandatory for candidates after the Supreme Court stayed the amendments, the decision has come as a jolt to the aspirants who have already started their election campaigns.
In villages, where the elections were scheduled for October 4, the candidates have filed the nomination papers and are carrying on with the campaign. Though the dates for the election will be announced again, they say they cannot stop the campaign midway.
“The candidates are spending on publicity but the delay will cost them heavily as they cannot stop the campaign midway; also, they are not aware of the dates of the election,” says Pawan Kumar, who is contesting the zila parishad election from Ward No 14 of Jind.
Moreover, the candidates feel it is difficult to maintain voters for more than a month as panchayat elections witness a close contest and every single vote matters.
“No doubt the expenditure will increase from the delay as the contenders will have to continue their campaign,” says Jasbir Singh of Gandhra village of Rohtak, who has filed his papers for the post of sarpanch.
Most candidates are in favour of the government’s decision to make educational qualification mandatory for the candidates, but they demand that the elections should not be delayed anymore. “It (making educational qualification mandatory) was a good decision, but now the elections should not be delayed more as farmers will soon be busy in harvesting paddy,” says Rakesh Kumar, who is contesting the block samiti election from Ward No 17 of Sampla block in Rohtak.
“Also, development work in villages is on hold since July 23, and the delay will also cost the candidates heavily as they have to make repeated rounds to the villages for campaign,” he adds.