JAIPUR: With minimum educational criteria being removed for those contesting panchayat polls in Rajasthan, 96 Panchayats have elected leaders who are completely illiterate and cannot even write down their name.
The minimum education criteria introduced by the previous Vasundhra Raje-led government, was scrapped by the Congress when it returned to power in December 2018.
According to the data of the State Election Commission, out of 2,726 gram panchayats under 87 Panchayat Samitis, the post of the headman has gone to “Anguthatek,” or illiterates.
Additionally, in 969 or 35.54% of panchayats in the state, elected sarpanchs can only write their names.
Most corruption cases have involved illiterate panch’s leading to disqualification of as many as 210 of them in the last 10 years, while 65 sarpanchs were named in corruption cases.
The Raje government had stipulated that contestants for the Zila Parishad or Panchayat Samiti polls would need to pass Class Xth as the minimum qualification while general candidates for sarpanch’s post should have passed class VIIIth and an SC/ST candidate should have cleared Class V.
Congress in its first cabinet meeting had did away with the minimum education criteria to contest Panchayat and urban bodies’ elections.