Campaigning for the seventh and last phase of Lok Sabha elections has reached a crescendo. Come May 19, and candidates will battle it out across 59 seats spread over 7 states and one UT. As the last batch of candidates calls it a wrap, let’s look at the real picture. Team Neta has sampled self-sworn affidavits of 217 candidates to bring you all that you need to know about them.
Age is not just a number
Most candidates contesting phase VII fall in the age-group of 56-65 years, followed by 46-55 years respectively. Here’s a detailed break-up –
There certainly is an optimum age to be an Indian politician. In a previous Neta analysis, we compared the Neta App approval ratings of politicians belonging to different age groups and found that politicians between the age of 35-45 had the highest approval ratings. As it further turned out, with increasing age, the approval ratings take a sharp dive! Looks like the political parties are clearly aware of this trend.
Here’s a representation for the distribution of BJP and Congress candidates in phase VII across different age-groups.
33% women’s reservation to remain a pipe dream
Protests and campaigns, manifestos and promises- all the efforts to send more women to Lok Sabha are best labeled futile (for now). Political parties have collectively failed to set a precedent in this direction as the percentage of women candidates across the seven phases remained at 12% on an average.
The highest percentage (18%) of women candidates were fielded in phase V.
The story for phase VII is equally disappointing as women candidates account for just 12% of candidates sampled. While the BJP has fielded just one woman out of the 46 candidates, the Congress has fielded just 6 out of its 44. Out of the total women candidates in the fray, a maximum is fielded from West Bengal (34.6%).
Candidates with declared criminal records account for more than a quarter
Regular readers be like, tell me something I don’t know…
30.41% of candidates contesting phase VII have self-declared criminal records. That’s more than a quarter as you see.
On the flip side, the percentage of criminal candidates have fallen by almost 13.02 percentage point as compared to Phase VI. Congress and BJP contribute 15.15% and 28.78% of candidates to the criminal pool of phase VII respectively.
Majority of them hold a graduate degree
About 67% of candidates in phase VII holds a graduate degree or higher while 26.9% of them have studied up to class 12th or less.
Let the money flow
Looks like nothing here flows as freely and as abundantly as money does. Lakhpati candidates account for over 50% of all the candidates. Crorepatis aren’t far behind as they account for over 44%. What’s a little heartening to note here is the percentage of candidates with declared assets worth less than 1 Lac.
At 5.2%, this is the highest they’ve ever been in number across the seven phases. Wealthy candidates (lakhpatis + crorepatis) account for 97.6% of Congress’ and 97.8% of BJP’s list for phase VII. The Aam Aadmi Party is not far behind – About 92% of its candidates have declared assets worth more than a lac, almost half of whom are crorepatis.
Let’s conclude with another interesting data byte – Almost a quarter of the candidates (24.88%) in phase VII is contesting Lok Sabha elections for the first time!
Ensure your participation in the last phase of the biggest celebration of democracy on the planet. It’s simple – all you have to do is just go out on May 19 and vote!