YSR Congress has most educated candidates in LS polls

While it is believed that educated electorate would be able to make a wise decision with respect to electing their representatives, voters are least bothered about the educational qualifications of the candidates they would elect. Politics is one area where educational qualification does not matter much until recently, when Prime Minister’s educational qualification, among others, hit the headlines.
The minimum educational qualification for a politician had been discussed widely so far without any conclusive decision. However, the India Today Intelligence Unit analysed the educational qualification of candidates contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections (till phase six) and it was found that 48 per cent of the candidates have at least a graduate degree.
For the analysis, the educational qualifications were divided into two parts, candidates with higher education and literate candidates, who have completed schooling. Interestingly, it is the candidates of regional parties who had good educational qualification, with five spots being occupied by the  parties from southern India.
With 88 per cent of the candidates having a graduate degree at least, YSR Congress in Andhra Pradesh is the party with the most educated contestants in the current Lok Sabha elections.
The Tamil Nadu-based Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) occupied the second position with 87.5 per cent candidates attaining higher education, followed by its rival the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) with 86.4 per cent, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) of Telangana with 82.4 per cent and Naam Tamilar Katchi of Tamil Nadu with 80 per cent.
Of the big parties contesting the elections this time, the India National Congress has 75.7 per cent candidates who have attained higher education followed by the Trinamool Congress (74.5%), Biju Janata Dal (71.4%) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (70.8%). In the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party, only 52.5 per cent have attained higher education, while only 38 per cent Independent candidates are graduates.
The national average of candidates who graduated from college is 48 per cent. The DIU has found five such constituencies where all the contestants have attained higher education – Srikakulam (Andhra Pradesh), Balangir (Odisha), South Goa (Goa), Nabrangpur (Odisha) and Nagaland (Nagaland).
Maharashtra’s Raigad is the constituency with the least percentage of graduate candidates.  Of the total 15 candidates contesting from here, only one candidate, Prakash Sakharam Kalke of Bharatiya Kisan Party – has a post graduate degree while a majority of others have studied till Class X only.
The next two positions after Raigad are occupied by Bharuch and Surendranagar in Gujarat with 12% and 13% literate candidates respectively.
Darbhanga in Bihar and Sundargarh in Odisha and Kheda  in Gujarat are found at the bottom in the list with only 13 per cent of their candidates  literate. Over 46 per cent of the total candidates are literate or had attended school. 
With 11 such candidates, BSP has the highest number of literate candidates who attended school till class 5, followed by BJP whose 5 candidates (1 per cent) had also studied till Class V. The INC has 2 such candidates. The DIU survey revealed that the number of illiterate candidates contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections is low. Only 2 per cent of the candidates were illiterate.
There are 139 illiterate candidates contesting the elections till sixth phase, out of which 111 are independent. The BJP, BSP, AAP and DMK have one illiterate candidate each. The illiterate candidate fielded by these parties are Sofi  Yousof from Anantnag, J&K, (BJP), Mustukim from Sambalpur, Odisha, (BSP), P Velusamy from Dindigul, Tamil Nadu (DMK), and Bhawani Singh from Alahabad, Uttar Pradesh (AAP).

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