Business Standard
Vasudha Mukherjee
New Delhi

Lok Sabha elections 2024: 38% of candidates studied between standard 5 to 12; 26 candidates declared themselves illiterate

Only 170 of 1,717 or 10 per cent of the candidates contesting Phase-4 of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections are women, according to a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and The National Election Watch.

For Phase-3 of the polls, the ADR noted that only 9 per cent of the candidates were female (123 of 1,352). Additionally, only 8 per cent of the candidates who contested in the first two phases were women, showing that gender representation in the electoral fray remains a concern.

The ADR report examined the self-sworn affidavits of 1,710 out of 1,717 candidates and found that 21 per cent of them had criminal cases against them. Around 16 per cent were facing serious criminal cases.

Education-wise, the analysis found that 644 inpiduals, constituting 38 per cent of the total, hold educational qualifications ranging from the 5th to 12th standard.

A significant majority, comprising 944 candidates (55 per cent), possess a graduate degree or higher, while 66 candidates are Diploma holders, and 30 deemed themselves merely literate. Surprisingly, 26 candidates declared their status as illiterates.

In terms of age demographics, the data showed 38 per cent of candidates, around 642, fall within the 25 to 40-year age group, while 49 per cent (842) candidates belong to the 41 to 60-year age group. The remaining 13 per cent of candidates (226) fall within the 61 to 80-year age range.

Phase-4 of the elections encompasses 96 constituencies spread across 10 states and Union territories on. Participating regions include Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.

Telangana reportedly has the highest number of candidates with 525 contenders eyeing 17 seats. Following Telangana is Andhra Pradesh, with 454 candidates contesting across 25 constituencies, while Maharashtra has 298 candidates contesting 11 seats. Meanwhile, in Jammu & Kashmir, 24 candidates vie for a single seat. The counting of votes is set to take place on June 4.

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