From a British-educated lawyer and candidates with multiple degrees to those who haven't passed Class 12 and others who are plain illiterate, the nominees of leading political parties mirror the jagged education graph of people in Punjab.
A comparative study of the educational backgrounds of candidates - based on voluntary disclosures made in affidavits submitted with nomination papers - shows that the Congress and former finance minister Manpreet Badal's People's Party of Punjab (PPP) lead the charts. On the other hand, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal's party, the Shiromani Akali Dal, paints a "SAD" picture.Congress has the most number of candidates with a bachelor's degree or more. Of 117 candidates, 62 hold bachelor's degrees. PPP and SAD also score heavily on this front.
Forty-two of PPP's 90 candidates have bachelor's degrees, of which 13 have a master's degree to boot and four are doctors.
However, among the three major players in Punjab, SAD has the most number of candidates - 32 - who have not even passed class 12. The Congress has 35 names while the PPP has the least with 26 names.
Law a favourite
Among those who chose to get professional training at the bachelor's level, law emerges as the favourite. The PPP and the SAD have eight lawyers each. One of SAD's law graduates, Tejinder Pal Sandhu, also holds a journalism degree, making him the lone 'qualified' scribe in the main contenders' lists. In fact two of SAD's nominees have research doctorates (PhD).