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Nitish Dumps Bid to Potty Train Local Poll Candidates

Published: 03rd February 2016 04:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2016 04:53 AM   |  A+A-

Nitish Kumar_AFP

PATNA:  Taking a U-turn from its earlier decision, the Bihar government on Tuesday decided to waive off the clause that disallows persons not having toilets in their homes from contesting in the forthcoming local body polls.

The Bihar State Panchayati Raj Act, 2006, had made it compulsory for a candidate in the local rural and urban body polls to have a toilet at home as an eligibility criterion for contesting the elections.

The rural local bodies election in Bihar is scheduled for next month. Interestingly, senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi welcomed the state government’s decision. He said that his party had earlier made this demand. Modi blamed state government for not building toilets for about 1.5 crore households in the State. “The mandatory clause of the toilet would have stopped many genuine candidates from fighting the polls,” Modi said further.

In another important decision, the state Cabinet gave its nod to a proposal of the Finance Department to increase VAT on petrol and diesel from the existing 20 per cent to 30 per cent, Principal Secretary Cabinet Coordination Department Brajesh Mahrotra told media persons after the cabinet meeting presided by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

“With the new provision additional `330 crore would be mobilised,” Mahrotra said. It is only last month that the state government increased VAT on 13 items, including cloth, sending cloth merchants on a warpath. The state Cabinet also approved a proposal to increase Dearness Allowance by 11 per cent to employees and pension holders with effect from July 1, 2015, he said.

Now, they will get 234 per cent DA in place of 223 per cent at present, he added. The Cabinet also decided to create 46 posts of different levels of Bihar Vikash Mission headed by the newly appointed Advisor to the CM Prashant Kishor for implementation of CM’s “seven resolves”. 

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