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Five state polls: Wealth, education contribute to candidates' winning chances

Five state polls: Wealth, education contribute to candidates' winning chances
15 Mar 2017
  • In the recent assembly polls, wealthier candidates were likely to win their constituency than the less wealthy, according to an election data and candidate affidavit analysis.
  • Of 689 assembly constituencies in five states, 33.5% were won by the wealthiest candidate, 24.6% by the second-wealthiest and 17% by the third-wealthiest.
  • While education, too, contributed to the candidates' success, cash paved "the road to electoral victory."

  • Poorly educated candidates fare badly
    Education played an important role in increasing the candidates' chances of winning. Candidates with a doctorate degree succeeded in a fifth of their races, while only two of 102 illiterate candidates - Uttar Pradesh's Satya Prakash Agrawal and Manipur's Yamthong Haokip - won their constituencies.

    A decent election campaign needs lot of money
    Money Matters
  • Similar to previous polls, odds were heavily stacked against the less wealthy and poorer candidates.
  • Of 639 fifth-wealthiest candidates across the five states, only 41 or 6.4% won their constituencies; of 394 tenth-wealthiest candidates, only four won.
  • Niranjan Sahoo, a senior fellow with the Observer Research Foundation's Governance and Politics Initiative, said, "To run a decent campaign, you need a lot of money."

  • Voters attracted to wealthier candidates
    Wealthier Candidates
  • Voters may be attracted to wealthier candidates who are seen as "being better able to grease the wheels of local bureaucracies."
  • Gilles Verniers, Political Scientist at Ashoka University, said an elected representative should act as a "power broker between constituents and state agencies. "
  • He added, "Being wealthy enables to you to meet, to a certain extent, the expectations of voters."

  • Victory not guaranteed even for the wealthy
    Across the five states, 2,185 candidates claimed to possess net assets worth at least Rs. 1 crore; of them, only 514 won. Congress's Nazir Ahamad from UP whose net assets were worth over Rs. 200 crore finished third in the Agra-South constituency.

    Few poorer candidates beat the odds
    Poorer Candidates
  • Though poorer candidates still face far longer odds, some of them emerged victorious, beating the odds.
  • Of the 689 winning candidates, four were in debt (according to their affidavits) while another candidate declared no assets at all.
  • While a total of 608 candidates declared net assets worth between Rs. 0-1 lakh, only Dr. Harendra Prasad Singh who declared net assets of Rs. 0 won.

  • Gap between the rich and poor, and their electoral fortunes
    The Gap
  • The rich-poor gap was clearly evident in Manipur where wealthiest candidates won half of all seats while 5% seats were won by candidates ranking fifth-wealthiest or below.
  • Though poorer candidates fared worse than the richer ones in UP, the wealthiest won only less than a third of all seats.
  • Gilles Verniers said, "Money plays a central role in electoral politics in practically every democracy."

  • Difficulties faced by poorer candidates
    Niranjan Sahoo stated: "The implication is very straightforward. A lot of competent people who are motivated to get into the democratic process and bring systemic change, people who want to work for their community, simply don't get a chance."

    This post first appeared on NewsBytes: Latest News, Breaking News India, Today News, Current News, please read the originial post: here

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    Five state polls: Wealth, education contribute to candidates' winning chances


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