September 10, 2015
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is strongly opposed to the attempts of the BJP-led Haryana government to disenfranchise a huge section of the population from contesting the ensuing panchayat elections in the state. The state government earlier promulgated an ordinance where four extraneous criteria were spelt out for eligibility to contest these elections. They asked for a minimum educational attainment, the proof of possessing pucca toilet, non-default of any bank loan and non-default from electricity dues.
It is clear that these conditions are essentially targeting people suffering from socio-economic deprivation from contesting the polls. While on the basis of a writ, the High Court stayed the elections, the state government went ahead with a legislation in the assembly and notified the elections with a tearing hurry.
It is clear, on the analysis of available data that 83 per cent of Scheduled Caste women, 72 per cent of general category women, 71 per cent of Scheduled Caste men and 56 per cent of general category men will be rendered ineligible to contest the elections on this educational criteria alone.
This is violative of the Constitutional provision of holding elections on the basis of universal adult franchise. It is also against the spirit of the 73rd Constitutional amendment which seeks to strengthen a more inclusive and participatory democracy.
The Rajasthan BJP government had earlier made similar curtailments in the panchayat elections. The PB opposes this undemocratic violation of the Constitution and the principles of social justice. The judiciary must intervene to stop this blatant violation of the Constitutional rights.