DIBRUGARH, April 6 - Fourteen of the 41 candidates in Assam contesting the Lok Sabha election in the first phase on April 11 are either matriculates or not even that, including a sitting BJP MP, according to their poll affidavits.
However, the list also has an ex-IITian, a retired professor of political science and some law and masters degree holders among others.
Polling on five of the 14 constituencies in Assam will be held on April 11. A total of 75,16,284 people are eligible to vote in Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur, Tezpur, Kaliabor and Jorhat constituencies.
According to a law in Assam, a person needs to be at least Class VI pass to become a member of a panchayat. The State�s BJP government wants that a minimum educational qualification for people wanting to contest assembly and parliamentary elections should also be fixed.
The Supreme Court is hearing a plea seeking to fix educational qualification for poll candidates.
In Dibrugarh, BJP�s Rameswar Teli, who is seeking a second successive term, is HSLC pass from Tipling Ghat High School in Duliajan. Among his rivals are veteran Congress leader and former Union minister Paban Singh Ghatowar, an arts graduate from St Antony�s College, Shillong, and Titus Bhengra, a retired professor of political science from DHSK College here. According to Bhengra�s affidavit, he holds a PhD from Dibrugarh University.
Two other candidates from the seat are matric pass though one of them � Israil Nanda � holds a diploma in trade union management.
In Tezpur, the Congress has fielded retired IAS officer MGVK Bhanu, a masters of engineering from IIT Delhi who hails from Andhra Pradesh. He retired last year as Assam�s additional chief secretary and was also the chairman of the Tea Board.
Up against him are independent candidates Ziabur Rahman Khan, who studied till Class X, and Iqbal Ansari, a higher secondary pass, Mahendra Orang (Voters Party International), a matriculate, and Mahendra Bhuyan (NCP), Pallab Lochan Das (BJP) and Bijoy Kumar Tiru (Independent), all graduates.
Both the Congress (Anil Borgohain) and BJP (Pradan Baruah) candidates in Lakhimpur seat are matriculates though the latter has a diploma in mechanical engineering.
Among the other contestants are Ubaidur Rahman (Asom Jana Morcha), who has studied till Class VII, Ambaz Uddin (Ind), who is a matriculate, and Probhu Lal Vaishnava (Ind), who is a higher secondary pass.
There are also two law degree holders � Hem Kanta Miri (Socialist Unity Centre of India � Communist) and Arup Kalita (CPI); three master degree holders � Anup Pratim Borbaruah (NCP), Amiya Kumar Handique (CPI-M) and Bhupen Narah (Voters Party International), while Dilip Moran (Assam Dristi Party) has mentioned his educational qualification as BSc Part II.
In Jorhat, there are three matriculates � Kamala Raj Konwar (National People�s Party), Raj Kumar Duwara (All India Forward Bloc) and Arbin Kumar Boruah (Ind). Sushanta Borgohain of the Congress party is a graduate, while BJP candidate Topon Kumar Gogoi is an MA, LLB.
There are seven candidates in the fray in Kaliabor, from where Gaurav Gogoi (Congress) is seeking a second consecutive term. He is a BTech and has a masters degree in public administration. AGP�s Mani Madhab Mahanta has a masters degree, while Jiten Gogoi (Ind) has studied till Class IX and Diganta Kumar Saikia (Hindustan Nirman Dal) is a matriculate. � PTI