Bhopal: At a time when unemployment is being looked at as a key issue for the parliamentary election, almost 50% candidates in fray for the second phase election in in Madhya Pradesh have not even completed their graduation, according to a report of the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).
The second phase of polling covering seven Lok Sabha constituencies — Tikamgarh, Damoh, Khajuraho, Satna, Rewa, Hoshangabad and Betul — is due on May 6. All these seats are currently represented by BJP MPs.
Lack of jobs for educated youth has been haunting the state for years and ahead of the Assembly election held last year, the Congress had offered a range of sops to win over young voters. A similar campaign is underway at present, as well.
As many as 50 (46%) of the total 109 candidates have declared in election affidavits that their educational qualification is between primary school to intermediate (Class XII), while 54 nominees (50%) have said that they pursued education till graduation and above.
Three others are literate and one candidate is illiterate. Half a dozen others have only studied till Class V, while 14 others pursued education till Class VIII.
Nine candidates have appeared for their Class X examinations, and 21 aspirants have cleared Class XII.
Of the total candidates, 16 are graduates and 11 are graduate professionals. As many as 25 contenders have pursued post-graduation and only two have obtained a PhD degree.
Almost one third of them (36%) are below 50 years of age, claimed the report.
An independent, Giriraj Kishore, who is contesting from Khajuraho is the richest of them all with assets worth Rs 26 crore.
Hoshangabad BJP MP Rao Uday Pratap Singh, who is seeking a re-election and the Congress’ Satna candidate Rajaram Tripathi hold second and third spot in the list with assets worth Rs 15.47 crore and Rs 15.03 crore, respectively.
Among the least affluent candidates, Adhikar Vikas Party’s Babulal Kol has only belongings worth Rs 1,200 while Jan Samman Party’s Chhotu Kol has belongings worth Rs 10, 225. Akhil Bharatiya Apna Dal’s Jagdesh Patel has Rs 20,500.
Only 10 candidates have criminal cases registered against them.