Over 67% Candidates In Phase 1 Are School Dropouts

16 November 2014

Srinagar: More than 67% candidates for the five Assembly segments of the Valley going to polls in the first of the five-phased elections in Jammu and Kashmir have had only school education or less. An analysis of the affidavits filed by the candidates for these constituencies reveals that out of the 50 candidates, 16 have studied till standard eighth of formal schooling only while 11 of them have passed the tenth standard exams conducted by the State Board of School Education. The PDP candidate from Ganderbal Qazi Mohammad Afzal, who was a minister in the PDP-Congress coalition government from 2002 to 2008, has mentioned 'NIL' in the Highest Educational Qualification Column. Afzal's Congress rival in Ganderbal Mohammad Yousuf Bhat has declared that he qualified the 10th standard examination through a night school. Only 32% of the candidates are graduates or have post graduate qualifications. Segment-wise, Kagan Assembly seat has seven candidates who have not studied beyond eighth standard. But the other three candidates are all graduates. The main fight for Kangan constituency is expected between National Conference candidate Mian Altaf Ahmad (LLB) and PDP's Bashir Ahmad Mir (Graduate). Bandipora Assembly segment has six candidates whose educational qualification is below matric level while Ganderbal has two such candidates and Sonawari Assembly segment has one. Surprisingly, Gurez Assembly segment which is bang on the Line of Control and one of under-developed areas of Kashmir has no under-matric candidate. Of the four candidates in Gurez, three are graduates and one has passed the 10th standard (matric) examination. Gurez, Bandipora, Sonawari, Ganderbal and Kangan Assembly segments will be going to polls in first phase of elections on November 25.