Punjab: Make minimum education qualifications must for contesting panchayat polls, claims minister

It all depends upon the Chief Minister and my colleagues in the Cabinet.

Bajwa proposes that on the lines of an identical change by neighbouring Haryana, Punjab should ensure it is mandatory for a panchayat election candidate, belonging to general class, to be a matriculate. For a woman nominee, the minimal qualification must be to get a candidate belonging to SC category it will be Class V pass and Class VIII pass.

Talking to The Indian Express, Bajwa said it should get a nod in the Cabinet in addition to Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, if all goes well and he'd bring a proposal regarding the change in the Act.

It all depends upon the Chief Minister and my colleagues in the Cabinet. For the time being, it is my personal proposal. I'm open to disagreement and dialogue. If co-workers and my CM okay it, we will bring the Bill,” he said.

Bajwa refused to provide a timeline to the suggestion. Regarding whether the Bill may be tabled in the Budget session of Assembly, on a question, he said it all depended on how the proposition was responded to by his co-workers.

He added that in Punjab, nearly panchayats out of about 12,500 50 per cent members were illiterate, “They clear suggestions and documents without knowing the content. That's where corruption starts. Finally it's sarpanches and the members who bear the brunt as they may be the signatories.”

He explained, “ the focus was rapidly shifting to hamlets.” When the planet is going schooling and digital becoming the need of the hour

The section can also be mulling a question on the distribution of funds of villages in Punjab ahead of elections He said he'd sought a listing of villages getting grants worth Rs 1 crore or even more We will see how these grants were utilised. We'll either get a third-party audit.” or a query

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