New Delhi: Signalling a fresh confrontation, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday mounted a fresh attack on the government over making educational qualifications mandatory for contesting panchayat polls in BJP-ruled Haryana and Rajasthan, accusing BJP and RSS of taking away the right from the poor, Dalits and adivasis.
"Proud that opposition came together against BJP's attempt to exclude more than 50% of India's electorate from the right to contest elections," Mr Gandhi said on Twitter.
The Congress vice president said, "By making edu qualifications mandatory for contesting Panchayat polls, BJP & RSS want to take this right away from the poor, dalits & adivasis".
His reaction came close on the heels of government facing an embarrassment in the Rajya Sabha, which passed the Motion of Thanks to the President's Address only after an amendment moved by Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad was included following a division in which 94 voted for the amendment and 61 against.
The amendment regretted that the address did not commit support to rights of all citizens to contest Panchayat elections in the backdrop of a law in Rajasthan and Haryana that made matriculation certificate a criteria for contesting the polls.
"The right to contest elections is a basic right of every citizen of India. Our founding fathers fought against the British for this right.
"They want to take this right away from all those who have been denied access, exploited & suppressed," Mr Gandhi said in a series of tweets....