Toilets made mandatory to contest Panchayat polls in Bihar

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Who: Panchayat polls in Bihar
What: Toilets will be mandatory requirement for eligibility to contest
When: 4 January 2016

State election commissioner (SEC) Ashok Kumar Chauhan on 4 January 2016 announced that toilets will be mandatory requirement for eligibility to contest panchayat elections.

This declaration means that no one can contest the Bihar panchayat elections scheduled in 2016 without having a toilet at their home.

SEC said that candidates have to give an undertaking regarding status of toilet by 1 January 2016 in their home. He also said to ensure free and fair polling the elections will be held in 10 phases. The notification of the elections and dates will be issued on 15 February 2016.

Election will be held for the posts of 8397 Mukhiyas (Village head), 8397 Kutcheri Sarpanchs besides Panchayat Samiti members, Kutchehri panchs, and Zila Parishad members.

Background
The decision is based on the legislation – the Bihar Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2015, which was passed by the Bihar Legislative Assembly on 5 August 2015. The legislation  brought some new provisions including making it mandatory for candidates contesting all level of panchayat raj elections to have toilets at their individual home by 31 January 2016.