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Monday, March 3, 2008

19 school drop-outs contest Meghalaya poll

A total of 19 school drop-outs are contesting alongside doctors, professors, teachers, bureaucrats and journalists in Meghalaya assembly election due on March three.

According to the survey of an NGO, Association for Democratic Reforms, 19 candidates (5.7 per cent) out of 331 candidates have not completed schooling. Nine others have not mentioned educational background in the affidavits at the time of filing nomination.

"Altogether, the educational qualifications of 32 candidates are unavailable, not mentioned or illegible," the survey said.

Deputy Electoral Officer S Kharlyngdoh said, "If they (candidates) have not stated the educational background, it means they have no formal education."

Among the drop-out contestants, four are contesting as Independents and four each from Congress and LJP are in the fray on Monday's assembly election.

Two candidates each from the CPI and NCP are school drop-outs. One such candidate each from BJP, KHNAM and HSPDP will also seek mandate in the poll tomorrow.

The revelations come despite Meghalaya's high literacy rate of 63 per cent. The state is also regarded as the most-favoured educational destination in Northeast India.

Meghalaya stands far behind other Northeastern states with respect to educationally sound candidates. Assam and Manipur has 58 and 57 per cent graduate candidates in last assembly elections. Nagaland, which goes to polls on March five, has 59 per cent graduates.


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