The national capital has traditionally been a city of businessmen and traders and it was reflected in the composition of the Delhi Assembly. In the last three assemblies, almost every second MLA came from a business background.
After the December 4 election, the profile of the Delhi MLA has become more diverse.
In 2008, 2003 and 1998, almost half of all the MLAs were businessmen, followed by ‘social workers’ and a smattering of teachers, lawyers and doctors. While MLAs from these backgrounds are still there, their numbers have gone down and consultants, former government employees, engineers, journalists, architects and defence personnel have joined their ranks.
The change, of course, has been brought by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which fielded rank first timers with no political experience as candidates. AAP MLAs include architect Satyender Kumar Jain (Shakur Basti), software engineer Saurabh Bharadwaj (Greater Kailash), consultant Rajesh Garg (Rohini), former TV journalist Rakhi Birla (Mangolpuri), IIT-Delhi Alumni Association office bearer Somnath Bharti (Malviya Nagar) and former National Security Guard commando Surrender Singh, who had fought the 26/11 attackers, among others.
The BJP also has, among its MLAs, people with different background such as Ram Kishan Singhal (Adarsh Nagar) who is the business director in a company and RP Singh who is a director of an advertisement agency.
Many MLAs this time have also declared their occupation as self employed (7), with meagre assets or unemployed (2). These MLAs belong mostly to the AAP.
While the number of MLAs who are teachers and professors or lawyers remains almost the same at four and two, respectively, the number of doctors has taken a plunge. While there were four MLAs with a medical background who won elections in 2008 and 2003, this time it is only BJP’s Dr. Harsha Vardhan who is representing the fraternity in the assembly.
“When a totally new political organisation which emerges from a movement arrives, it brings along people from very diverse backgrounds. This was seen in 1984 when the Bahujan Samaj Party was formed,” said Vivek Kumar, Professor of Sociology, Jawaharlal Nehru University.