GUWAHATI, March 14 - The Assam Legislative Assembly will adopt a resolution fixing a minimum educational qualification for its members as well as for members of Parliament. An all-party delegation will then move the President, Prime Minister and the Lok Sabha Speaker for giving effect to the same across the country.
Stating this at the Assembly today during a deliberation that saw the passing of the Assam Panchayat (Amendment) Bill, 2018, Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, while replying on behalf of the Minister of State for Panchayat and Rural Development (Independent charge) Naba Doley, said that the Act would not come into force with retrospective effect vis-�-vis the qualification criteria for panchayat representatives concerning their number of children.
Under the Act, a person cannot contest in panchayat polls if he or she has more than two living children from a single or multiple partners. It also stipulates that the candidate must pass Class VI as his or her educational qualification.
The proceedings also saw the Congress walk out of the House, alleging that it had not been given enough scope of getting heard.
Earlier, several Congress legislators, including Rakibul Hussain, argued that the fixation of educational qualification for MLAs and MPs should precede that of panchayat representatives.
�The lawmakers should lead by example and this warrants that first we fix the qualification norms for MLAs and MPs. Let the House adopt a resolution to that effect before deciding on those for panchayat members,� Hussain said.
In his reply, Sarma said reforms that were being sought could not be conditional and that a beginning had to be made first, and that the intended legislation was not being brought on party lines but had in mind the general welfare of the State as a whole.
�The Assembly had accepted the population policy which was passed by the State government. Let me assure you that the House will take a resolution in the next two-three days on the matter of fixing educational qualifications for the representatives of Assembly and Parliament. Then we will move the President, Prime Minister and the Lok Sabha Speaker through an all-party delegation to have a similar arrangement across the country,� he said.