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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Education to assets: The profile of Haryana House

While the profiles of the elected candidates is not very different from those elected in the 2014 assembly elections, we observed a few changes, particularly with respect to age and experience of the elected MLAs.

assembly-elections Updated: Oct 26, 2019 03:18 IST
Saloni Bhogale, Basim Nissa, and Mohit Kumar
Saloni Bhogale, Basim Nissa, and Mohit Kumar
New Delhi
Congress supporters celebrate the results in Karnal on Thursday.
Congress supporters celebrate the results in Karnal on Thursday.(PTI)
         

A new assembly for Haryana was elected on October 24. In this piece, we analyse the profile of the newly elected members of the Haryana legislative assembly pertaining to various aspects of their socio-demographic profiles. We also look at the electoral trajectories of the elected candidates. The data for the analysis has been sourced from candidate affidavits digitized by the Association for Democratic Reforms and merged with the Trivedi Centre for Political Data’s dataset on political candidates sourced from the Election Commission of India’s statistical reports along with sociological information on candidates collected by researchers affiliated to the centre.

While the profiles of the elected candidates is not very different from those elected in the 2014 assembly elections, we observed a few changes, particularly with respect to age and experience of the elected MLAs.

 

Religion

In terms of religion, 81 of the elected 90 MLAs are Hindus. Of the remaining nine, six are Sikh and three are Muslim. Of the Sikh MLAs, two are from the BJP and one is from the INC. All three elected Muslim legislators are from the INC. For a state having a Muslim population of about 7% as per the latest census, the tally of Muslim legislators is lower than their population share.

Caste

Of the elected MLAs, 28% belong to Upper Castes and another 28% belong to Intermediary Castes; 17% of the MLAs (15/90) are from Other Backward Classes, and 19 of them (21%) are Schedule Caste MLAs. Interestingly, the number of Jat MLAs has changed only slightly between the two terms: from 25 in the 2014 assembly to 24 in the current assembly.

Terms Served

Of the 90 winning candidates in the Haryana Assembly, 40 are serving their first term; 29% (26/90) are serving a second term as an elected MLA. More than 45% of the MLAs have held the position of an MLA before, which makes this a significantly experienced assembly as compared to the previous one, of which only 31% had previous legislature experience as an MLA.

Professions

The newly elected MLAs have declared a range of professions in their affidavit. Most are engaged in some kind of business, agriculture, social work and so on. Merely five of the elected candidates have declared politics as their profession, however, we know that 30 of the elected MLAs are incumbents, that is, they were elected in the previous assembly elections and have recently served a term. In total, 41 MPs have previous experience, but they have listed their primary profession as ‘agriculture’, ‘business’ or ‘lawyer’.

Education

In terms of MLAs with higher educational degrees, the newly elected assembly consists of 60 such MLAs, which is slightly above the previous assembly, which had 57 such MLAs.

Gender

While 8.5% of the contesting candidates were women, nine MLAs have been elected to the Haryana Assembly, down from the 13 elected in the previous election. While INC was able to increase the number of female MLAs from three to five, the number of female MLAs from BJP has dropped from eight to three.

Age

The new assembly has older legislators as compared to the previous assembly. While the average age of legislators in the previous assembly was 52 years, it has risen to about 55 years now.

Assets

Access to considerable capital has become a prerequisite for electoral success, and this election is no different. More than 87% of the newly elected MLAs have net assets exceeding a crore. Moreover, while there were 23 MLAs in the previous assembly with assets exceeding 10 crore, there are 32 MLAs in the current assembly who have declared more than 10 crore worth of net assets in their affidavits.

Criminality

While the BJP has reduced the number of its MLAs with criminal cases (from five to two), the INC has four MLAs with criminal cases, up from one in 2014. One of these MLAs is the former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, with seven cases against him, which pertain to misuse of office and accusations of money laundering. The most cases have been filed against Sombir, an independent MLA from Dadri with 10 cases against him, however, most of these pertain to check bouncing.The total MLAs with criminal cases has moved up from 8 in the 2014 assembly to 11 in the current assembly.

All authors work at the Trivedi Centre for Political Data, Ashoka University. Basim U Nissa and Saloni Bhogale are Research Fellows and Mohit Kumar is a data scientist.