Buoyed by the Supreme Court verdict upholding the minimum qualification norm to contest panchayat elections, the Haryana government has extended similar criteria to the municipal elections as well.
Under the amended rules approved this week by the state Cabinet, male contestants must be matriculates.
On the other hand, female aspirants need to have passed Class VIII.
These rules will apply to municipal committees and corporations, announced Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, his confidence clear in his voice after the favourable court verdict.
The Cabinet okayed the amendments to Section 13-A of the Haryana Municipal Act 1973 and Section 8 of the Haryana Municipal Corporation Act, 1994.
The ministers discussed raising the minimum qualification to Class XII, but settled for matriculation.
They felt if the minimum qualification was a Class XII degree, then it would drastically reduced the number of people eligible to contest.
Those in the reserved category have been given some relaxations the way it has been done for panchayat bodies: male contestants need to be “middle pass” (class 8) while female candidates must have passed Class V.
The other conditions candidates need to fulfil are having a functional toilet at home; not having a criminal case punishable with over 10 years of imprisonment, against them; and, having cleared all their electricity dues and cooperative loan payments.