Gandhinagar, Aug 4 : Gujarat Chief Minister Anandi Patel today proposed that having a toilet facility at home should be made a prerequisite for aspirants who want to contest any election in the state in future. Patel’s suggestion comes as a bid to give an impetus to the ‘toilet for each household’ drive in the state and to spread awareness about the issue. “Right from a candidate of Village Panchayat to even Member of Parliament (MP), all must first prove that they are having toilet facility in their house. If you want to contest any form of election in Gujarat, you must have toilet facility, otherwise, they should not be allowed to contest,” Patel said here.
She was addressing a gathering of more than 5000 women from different villages at the ‘Water Committee Empowerment Conclave‘, where the state government awarded a grant of Rs 27.5 crore to 2762 water committees run by women, to encourage them. The Chief Minister further said that the Election Commission needs to make rules accordingly in this regard. “It (the rule of having a toilet facility) should apply to everyone who wants to contest election as municipal councillor, MLA, Taluka Panchayat member, District Panchayat member, Sarpanch or even as MP. Now, the Election Commission needs to make rules as per this decision,” she said, adding that her suggestion might be criticised.
Patel said that she recently made business houses from Kutch to agree to construct toilets for villagers in a bid to make people understand about the importance of toilets. “Recently, Kutch-based business houses invited me to preside over as the chief guest of their function. I took a promise from them to adopt villages of Kutch before accepting their invitation. They promised me to build toilets in each and every home in Kutch region within next two years,” she said.
Patel, the first woman chief minister of the state, who succeeded Narendra Modi after his elevation as prime minister, had earlier announced 33% reservation for women in police force. In her appeal yesterday, Patel had asked people to focus on constructing centralised kitchens to feed children instead of temples.