The Times of India

NAGPUR: Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) historic performance in Delhi assembly elections last year certainly brought a sea change to Indian politics. Though AAP may have failed in running a government, it succeeded in one thing which no other party to could do like it did — draw educated and financially well off youths to politics. However, despite this, most parties appeared hesitant in experimenting by fielding tested candidates for 2014 general elections in Vidarbha.

Most of the candidates from region have a BCom degree while some have studied only till Class X, as per the statistics released by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch.

According to the figures, Congress candidate from Gadchiroli Dr Namdeo Usendi is the most literate in the fray with an MD degree from Government Medical College (GMC), Nagpur.

The youngest of the lot, former south Indian actress Navneet Kaur Rana who is contesting from Amravati constituency, is just SSC passed. Similarly, sitting BJP MP from Chandrapur Hansraj Ahir and Congress nominee Ramdas Tadas from Wardha are also SSC passed. NCP's Buldhana candidate Krushnarao Ingle studied till Class IV.

Other candidates possessing higher qualifications are sitting Akola MP Sanjay Dhotre, who has a mechanical engineering degree from Amravati University, sitting MP from Ramtek Mukul Wasnik has MBA and MA degrees.

Call it a AAP effect, a couple of young engineers quit good careers in the US and came back to their native places to join politics. Prashant Mishra, who completed his masters from University of Washington, is contesting on a AAP ticket from Bhandara constituency. Anna Hazare's former aide Balasaheb Darade, who close down his own software firm in the US, is contesting as an independent from Buldhana constituency.

Interestingly, the wealth of maximum of them is well beyond Rs 1 crore with former union minister Praful Patel topping the chart with whopping assets of Rs 195 crore. The lowest wealth is of Ingle who has shown assets of just Rs 2.06 lakh.

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