Chandigarh: Former Haryana Chief Minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Monday criticised the BJP-led state government for fixing academic qualification as criteria for panchayat poll candidates, which was later stayed by the High Court.
"This government is directionless. It is only issuing Tughlaqi orders...," he said in a press conference today.
The ordinance fixing minimum educational qualification for elections to Panchayati Raj institutions was "an undemocratic step" which was "stayed by the HC", he said.
The government had earlier this month through an ordinance fixed Class VIII as minimum qualification for SC and women candidates and class X for other categories' candidates contesting PRI elections.
He alleged that the government wanted to deliberately delay the Panchayat elections knowing that all sections of society were fed up with them.
"They then issued this Tughlaqi order fixing minimum educational qualification which would have deprived vast majority of candidates from contesting, both in the reserved and general category," he said.
"If they were so keen then they should also fix academic qualification limit for MLAs and ask for resignation of those who do not meet them," he added.
The former two-time Chief Minister also said there were numerous cases where old age pension was not being paid in time resulting in a backlog of 3-4 months.
"We used to give pension to 23 lakh beneficiaries, but the present government claim they have given it 10 lakh beneficiaries. What about other 13 lakh. Also, they have not started process to add new beneficiaries," he asked.
Congress demands the pensioners should be given choice to receive money either in their bank accounts or at their doorsteps, he said adding if the government creates problems for pensioners Congress party will launch an agitation.
On Khattar's current visit to US and Canada to attract investment, the Congress leader said "they should first set their house in order before seeking foreign investments."
"In the past 10 months the state government has hiked power rates, both at domestic and industrial front, making power costlier for the industry than neighbouring Punjab also. The law and order is worsening with each passing day. Who will like to come here and invest," he asked.