It seems like the whole Uttar Pradesh wants official access into the Legislative Assembly as people from all walks of life, including contractors, builders, education and mining mafia and owners of chit fund companies could be seen in big numbers, seeking tickets for the coming Assembly elections, slated for early next year. The number of trained professionals such as doctors, lawyers and teachers, however, has come down as far as the list of probable contestants was concerned.

During the survey, it was found that around 84 percent of probable candidates were contractors, builders, education and mining mafias or owners of the chit fund companies. These facts were revealed in a study conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the National Election Watch, on the perspective candidates in the coming UP Assembly elections.

Giving details of this study report here today, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ADR Election Watch Maj Gen (retd) Anil Verma said that in UP Assembly, soon after Independence, the maximum number of legislators were lawyers, teachers and other trained professional, but their number was coming down rapidly.

The survey finds that the maximum number of perspective candidates were either contractor, builders, education mafia or in the mining business. Besides, a good number of those running chit fund companies were willing to contest the polls.

Around 10,000 people were also questioned to seek their opinion about the probable candidates and the questionnaire included five questions -- Who wants to contest the polls, what were their traditional occupation and present business, whether the candidate was a first timer or had old political background, what social work they had done and last, what was their economic background.

Convener of UP Election Watch Sanjay Singh said that a survey was conducted in 60 Assembly segments of different areas of UP with assessing 2200 probable candidates, including some whose names have been announced by the political parties.

He said the survey found that among the prospective candidates, 21 percent were contractors, while 18 percent were builders. Also, a good 17 percent were running private educational institutes, while 15 percent owned chit fund companies. Among the probable nominees, 13 percent were into the business of mining.

Mr Singh said that ADR UP Election Watch has been running a campaign against use of money and muscle power in the elections. He said that programmes were being run in various Assembly segments, to promote ethical voting.

The ADR UP has constituted monitoring committees in 60 districts of state while in Bundelkhand, all the Assembly segments have 5000 volunteers of ADR.

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