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Haryana Passes Amendment That Ensures 50 Percent “Participation” Of Women In Panchayat Elections

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Haryana Assembly passed the Panchayati Raj second amendment Bill on Friday which ensures 50 percent “participation” of women. The Bill also proposed eight percent reservation to the Backward Classes for the post of sarpanches (the head of a Panchayat).

As per a report by Hindustan Time, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala introduced the Haryana Panchayati Raj (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020 in the House on the concluding day of the Vidhan Sabha session. Congratulating the women of the state, Chautala said that the Bill will boost their confidence and empower them.

 While the amendment is being reported to grant women “50 percent reservation,” Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar clarified that it was “not a reservation, but participation”.

Further explaining the difference between the reservation and participation, Khattar said, “ Earlier, the participation of women was not less than 33 percent. With that provision too, 41-43 percent of women were elected as Sarpanches. But, then suggestions were received to increase it to 50 per cent. Thus, rather than reservation, we have introduced ‘participation’.” The reason for not granting reservation, he said, was that in such a case the number of elected women would reach 65-66 percent.

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The new amendment will be applicable for future elections to Panchayati Raj Institutions such as Zilla Parishad, Block Panchayat Samiti, and Gram Panchayats elections.

Woman Sarpanch in the Village

Dushyant Chautala said that now villages will be allotted numbers as codes, and for the first time, women will be elected as sarpanches for villages with even numbers, and for odd numbers, for the next turn. “In this manner, five out of every ten years, every village of Haryana will have a woman sarpanch,” Chautala further explained. “The women of rural areas elected in Panchayati Raj institutions will not only be the voice of their village but will also establish new dimensions of development,” he further added.

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Chautala’s mother also expressed gratitude to the government and said that 50 percent participation of women in Panchayats will not only change the image of Gram Panchayats but women will also contribute significantly to the development of the village.

Image Credit: India TV

Sagrika Giri is an intern with SheThePeople.TV.