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Stark inequality: only 80 of 1,110 candidates in Delhi are women

Team HT, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 18, 2013
First Published: 00:23 IST(18/11/2013) | Last Updated: 13:44 IST(18/11/2013)

The 1,110 affidavits filed by candidates during the nomination process till Saturday throw up some interesting figures and information about those who want to represent Delhiites in the Assembly.

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Hindustan Times did a random survey of 135 affidavits of candidates from across constituencies, including candidates from both recognised and registered unrecognised political parties and Independent candidates.

The age factor

The age of candidates who are going to contest the upcoming elections varies from 25 years to 80 years but the largest number of candidates in the survey were in the age bracket of 35 to 45 years, followed by those between the ages of 46  years and 55 years. The younger brigade, however, does have a formidable presence with a total of 31 candidates, among the total 135 we surveyed. There were quite a few candidates who are 25 years old.

Education

Of the total 135 candidates, 40 are graduates, including 15 who have done post-graduation too. This includes candidates who have done MTech, MA, MSc, MBA and LLB. The number of those who studied till Class 12 and 10 is 26 each.

Though the electoral office has for the first time asked candidates to disclose their social media accounts in affidavits, only 23 candidates have done so. Four candidates have also said that they are active on Twitter. Twenty candidates have just mentioned their email accounts.

Candidates from all walks of life

From astrologer to labourer, businessman, meat shop owner, sweeper, mechanic, retired army colonel and auto driver, candidates of different profiles are in the fray this Assembly elections. Most of them are fighting elections for the first time and corruption is the main issue for them.

The largest number of candidates, however, have written businessman or businesswoman and social worker as their occupation in their affidavits.

Jai Kishan, a sweeper, caught the eyeballs of commuters when he came riding an ox to file the nomination on Saturday. “It doesn’t matter from which background we are coming. It is the people like us who get affected by the failure of government. That is why I have decided to fight election,” said 28-year-old Jai Kishan, who is contesting from the Gandhi Nagar assembly constituency.

An astrologer, who was part of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) earlier, has decided to fight as an Independent as he is not happy with AAP’s policies. There are candidates for whom earning a livelihood is a task but they are fighting elections, hoping to make a difference.

Women candidates

The Delhi Assembly elections will see 80 women vying for votes in the 70 constituencies in the city. This figure, however, doesn’t include female covering candidates for the main candidates.

The Congress and AAP have fielded six women candidates each this year while the BJP has fielded five. Most of the women candidates are contesting as Independents.

The New Delhi constituency will see six women candidates, the highest among the 70 constituencies. It is followed by Rajinder Nagar constituency, where four women candidates have filed nominations. Many constituencies, such as Matia Mahal, has no woman candidate.   

In the 2008 Delhi Assembly elections, 81 women had contested the election, out of which only three were elected.

(Sidhartha Roy, Faizan Haider, Mallica Joshi and Ritam Halder)

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