The panchayat polls in the state were at the centre of controversy after an ordinance was issued by the Vasundhara Raje government last month, fixing minimum educational qualification for contesting the rural polls.

In the entire three phase polls, 6,258 panchayat samiti members 9,872 sarpanch and 10,9469 panch will be elected by over 3.28 crore voters.
    
A spokesman of Rajasthan State Election Commission (RSEC) said that in the first phase, nominations will be filed for 2,305 panchayat samiti members, 3,562 sarpanchs, and 39,189
panch posts.
    
The last date for filing of nomination papers is January 6 and scrutiny of papers will be done on January 7. The last date for withdrawal of nomination is January 8.
    
"Nomination papers are accepted from 11 AM to 3 PM," the spokesman said. Second phase of the polls will be held on January 22 and third phase on January 30, he said, adding the notification to these polls will be issued separately on January 9 and January 17 respectively.
    
Besides, 33 zila pramukh, 33 up-zila pramukh, 295 each of pradhan and up-pradhan and 1,013 zila parishad members will also be elected on February 7 and February 8 in the state's Panchayat polls.

Altogether, 36,844 polling booths have been set up for the three-phase polling. Sixteen out of 33 districts will use EVMs while remaining will be using ballots, the spokesman said.
    
Several social activists including Aruna Roy have criticised the ordinance claiming that it excluded the majority from the poll process as the literacy rate in Rajasthan was low.
    
For sarpanchs, the ordinance fixed class VIII as the minimum qualification and in scheduled areas it is Class V. For contesting zila parishad and panchayat samiti polls the education qualification is Class X pass. Petition has also been filed in Supreme Court challenging the ordinance.

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