"This is a good beginning in Rajasthan that would continue," State BJP chief Ashok Parnami said when pointed out towards the criticism by the Opposition Congress on the government's decision to fix the minimum qualification.
Parnami claimed that the state government has taken the decision in the public interest and the response from the people was good.
"We have received a good response from people about the decision. Sarpanchs, panchs, Zila Parishad members, pradhans should be qualified and this is a good move," he told reporters while terming the criticism from the Congress as "worthless."
"The chief minister took a good decision and this beginning would continue," he said when asked whether similar conditions would also be put in Assembly elections in future.
Raje government through an ordinance recently fixed minimum qualification as condition for contesting the local rural bodies elections.
As per the amendment in Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Act, a candidate contesting the Zila Parishad or Panchayat Samiti polls should have the minimum qualification of secondary education (Class 10).
To contest the Sarpanch elections, a candidate (general category) should be Class 8 pass.
However, in scheduled area the contestant for sarpanch election should have passed Class 5.
Parnami said that the party would announce its candidates for the panchayat elections to be held next month by January 3.
"We have announced district committees and the list of candidates will be issued by January 3," he said.
Parnami said that the party's state unit has so far made over 14 lakh members under the membership drive.
Congress has opposed fixing of the minimum qualification for contesting Panchayat elections arguing that it will adversely affect prospects of good leaders at the grassroots level.
Former chief minister Ashok Gehlot has also asked the state government to review its decision.

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