Educational qualification is not a prerequisite for candidates aspiring to public office, particularly to legislative assemblies and parliament. In a country where socioeconomic inequalities feed into extreme differences in education attained by different sections of the society, perhaps, it seems plausible not to have any such criteria. But the clamour for educated public representatives lingers on in the country as some of the high-profile politicians become butt of jokes making extremely bizarre, distasteful, and ridiculous comments that lack any rationale.

Against this backdrop, an interesting survey and research conducted by the India Today media house revealed that YSR Congress Party has most educated candidates in the fray for 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Eighty eight per cent candidates fielded by YSR Congress Party for Lok Sabha have at least a graduate degree. The figured is arrived at after factoring in all regional and national parties, including Congress and BJP.

The second and third spots are bagged by Dravidian Parties DMK and AIADMK with 88 per cent and 86 per cent respectively. TRS party secured the third position with 82 per cent of its candidates having at least a graduate degree. Naam Tamilar Katchi party from Tamil Nadu bagged the fifth spot with 80 per cent.

Interestingly, the top five places are secured by regional parties belonging to southern India. It further means political parties from southern India field candidates who are well-educated with qualifications graduation and above.

As regards the national parties, Congress party topped the list and the ruling BJP secured fifth position. Among the candidates fielded by Congress party 75.7 per cent of them have graduation and above education status. This is followed by Trinamool Congress (74.5 per cent), Biju Janata Dal (71.4 per cent), Aam Aadmi Party (71.4 per cent) and Bharitya Janata Party (70.8 per cent). Another major political party Bahujan Samajwadi Party has only 52.5 per cent of its candidates with educational qualifications graduation and above. Independent candidates from across the country with 38 per cent stood at the last position.

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