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Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda today said before fixing minimum qualification for MPs and MLAs to contest polls, priority should be to achieve 100 per cent literacy in the country. His reaction came a day after the Haryana government wrote to the Centre to fix minimum educational qualification for Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) to contest elections. "We are living in a democratic set up where less educated or even uneducated have the right to contest.
I think before we suggest that minimum qualification criteria be put in place, our first target should be to make the country 100 per cent literate," the former chief minister of Haryana said. "Once we achieve that, we can think of fixing qualification criteria. Otherwise, in the present scheme of things, if such a criteria is fixed, it may bar many candidates who otherwise may be equally capable as the educated ones," Hooda, who has been a Lok Sabha member from Rohtak, reasoned. Speaking at an event in Panchkula yesterday, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had said, "..we have written a letter to the central government that minimum qualification should be fixed for MPs and MLAs to contest elections". The state government's earlier decision to fix minimum qualification of panchayat representatives had received widespread praise.