What The Demographics Of Delhi Candidates Reveal About The City's Politics

06/02/2015 9:17 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST
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NEW DELHI, INDIA - FEBRUARY 3: JDU MLA Shoaib Iqbal ( R ) and Independent MLA Rambeer Shokeen ( L) arrive to meet Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at Delhi Secretariat on February 3, 2014 in New Delhi, India. A day after threatening towithdraw support to the AAP Government, JDU MLA Shoaib Iqbal and Independent MLA Rambeer Shokeen today did a u-turn and said they will not go ahead with their threat. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

In all, 673 candidates from 70 parties will seek popular mandate from 70 assembly seats in New Delhi on Saturday. The universe of candidates represent a range of personalities, rich and penniless, unlettered and PhDs, young and old.

Out of the total candidates, 465 (69%) are between 25 and 50 years of age, while 194 (29%) candidates are between 51 and 70 years and 6 (1%) candidates are above 71 years.

Wealth

There is one candidate who is literally penniless--Sushil Kumar Mishra of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, who is contesting from Burari. Shiromani Akali Dal's Manjinder Singh Sirsa is the richest in the fray, with assets worth Rs239 crore (up from Rs43.6 crore in 2008).

Data analysis done by HuffPost India showed that Congress candidates have the highest average assets (liabilities have not been calculated), with Rs9.6 crore, while BJP candidates have Rs7.96 crore and AAP candidates have Rs5.89 crore.

The median assets, a better indicator of wealth distribution, is highest for Congress candidates at Rs4.9 crores followed by the BJP, with 3.5 crores and then AAP, with 1.6 crores.

BJP's richest candidate is Sat Prakash Rana from Bijwasan, with assets of Rs78.6 crore.

The Congress Party's richest candidate is Sumesh Shokeen, contesting from Badarpur, with Rs12.98 crore. AAP's richest contestant is Parmila Tokas, contesting from R.K. Puram, who has assets worth 87.9 crores.

ADR tabulated that 59 (84%) out of 70 candidates from the Congress Party, 50 (72%) out of 69 candidates from the BJP and 44 (63%) out of 70 candidates from the AAP are crorepatis.

Education

According to ADR, 26 candidates out of the total 673 are illiterate. Eleven candidates in the fray have PhDs.

When it comes to a basic college degree, our analysis showed, the parties perform more or less the same--Congress have 25 candidates, while the BJP and AAP both have 24. But AAP scores over the others with 20 candidates with advanced masters and professional degrees, while the BJP has only 12 candidates with a similar profile and the Congress has 8.

Crime

BJP has the worst criminal record with 28 out of 70 candidates with criminal records. AAP is next with 23 candidates facing criminal charges. Congress has 21.

In terms of total number of cases, AAP scores highest with a total of 60 cases pending against its candidates. Party chief Arvind Kejriwal alone has 10, along with another candidate, Gulab Singh, who also has 10. BJP candidates have a total of 50 cases, followed by the Congress at 47.

Sirsa has nine criminal cases against him, which have increased by eight cases since 2008. At an individual level, the most number of cases across all three parties is 13 registered against Shoaib Iqbal, Congress Party's candidate from Matia Mahal.

Overall however, the number of criminal cases are not an indicator of criminality or criminal behaviour. Politicians often have cases registered against them for violating law and order during demonstrations, and also sometimes have false cases filed against them. So only an analysis of the specific charges against a candidate and its history can reveal a trend.

Gender

There are 66 (10%) female candidates out of 673 candidates contesting this year, per ADR. In 2013, there were 71 (9%) female candidates out of 810 candidates and in 2008 there were 81 (9%) female candidates out of 875 candidates.

Our analysis shows that BJP is fielding the most number of women candidate at eight, followed by the AAP with six, and Congress with five. There is clearly a long way to go, when the total representation of women is just nine percent in the three major parties and just 10 percent in all.

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