New Delhi

JAIPUR: Two petitions were filed in the Supreme Court on Thursday opposing the ordinance recently passed by the state government mandating that candidates contesting the zila parishad and panchayat samiti polls be Class X pass while those contesting for the post of the sarpanch be Class VIII pass. 

According to Nikhil Dey of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, while one of the petitions is from an affected person, the other is a PIL filed under the name of noted social worker Aruna Roy and the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR). 

"We had tried approaching the high court but it was closed due to holidays. So the petitioners knocked at the Supreme Court's door and the registry accepted the petitions. The first petition is filed by Naurti Bai, sarpanch of Harmada village in Ajmer who is an uneducated dalit woman but had won the last panchayat polls. She will have to forgo the seat this year if the ordinance is implemented," Dey said. 

The PIL underlines facts that the people's right to contest has been violated. While about 80% of the Rajasthan rural electorate will not be able to contest the polls as they do not meet the norms, about 95% women electorate have been barred by it. The ordinance restrains about 3,800 blocks members of about 5,000 from the polls while more than 550 zila parishad members out of 1000 will have to stay away from it due to the new education criteria," he added. 

All eyes will now be on the apex court's ruling on Friday as filing of nominations for the polls is set to begin from January 3.

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