On December 10, the State Election Commission had said that it would soon set in motion the process for conduct of Panchayat polls after the Supreme Court upheld a new law in Haryana mandating minimum educational qualifications as a prerequisite for the contestants.

The model code was put on hold from September 24 in view of the Supreme Court hearing the petition challenging the validity of Haryana's Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Act 2015 which fixes matriculation as essential qualification for general candidates contesting Panchayat polls.

The qualification for women (general) and Scheduled Caste candidates has been fixed at Class VIII. As the matter was pending before the Supreme Court, the SEC had decided to put on hold all the activities in pursuant to Commission's notification dated September 8 and all other notifications/orders issued subsequently.

The Commission had on September 8 issued the programme for the conduct of elections to Panchayati Raj institutions in the state, as per which the Panchayat polls were to be conducted in three phases on October 4, 11 and 18.

Meanwhile, Haryana's main opposition INLD has challenged the ruling BJP to contest the upcoming Panchayati polls on party symbol.

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