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Last Updated: May 17, 2007 - 8:46:52 AM
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375 candidates in Delhi civic polls are illiterate
Apr 5, 2007 - 1:39:25 PM
However, there are many qualified people in the fray as well.

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[RxPG] New Delhi, April 5 - At least 375 candidates, nearly 15 percent of the total number contesting Thursday's civic body elections here, are unlettered. And another 1,300 have not even studied till Class 12.

These are the findings of the Delhi Election Commission, which has studied 2,255 of the 2,575 contesting for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi - polls.

'We found that 1,714 candidates have not gone beyond school education. And there are 375 illiterates,' a senior official at the commission told IANS.

Of the 1,714, 103 have studied up to primary level and 403 between Class 5 and 8. While 439 candidates have studied up to Class 10, another 394 have studied up to Class 12.

Of the 375 unlettered candidates, independents and Bahujan Samaj Party - candidates account for the lion's share. Over 50 BSP candidates have no formal education. Of the 1,216 independents, 200 have no educational background.

The Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party - have 25 and 21 illiterate candidates respectively in their list. The Indian National Lok Dal - has 19, Janata Dal-United five and Lok Jan Shakti has eight such candidates.

While the Congress has fielded 272 candidates for the 272 wards, the BJP has pitted 271. The BSP has 224 candidates, INLD 149 and Nationalist Congress Party - 135.

Asked about the large number of unlettered candidates, both the election commissioner and political parties said they were concerned.

'It's of major concern. Unless political parties show some responsibility, the situation will not improve,' Delhi Election Commissioner S.P. Marwah told IANS.

Vijay Jolly, a BJP legislator from Saket, said that political parties have been debating the issue but 'nothing concrete may happen in the near future'.

However, there are many qualified people in the fray as well.

While 375 candidates are graduates, another 108 are postgraduates. Seven doctors, three engineers and six professional diploma holders are also fighting it out.

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