The Times of India

GUWAHATI: The 126-member assembly would have 71 per cent graduate MLAs this time. Among the rest, 17 legislators have completed Class XII, 10 cleared Class X, two studied till Class VIII and one till standard V. This was revealed in a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW), who conducted a nationwide campaign comprising more than 1200 NGOs and other citizen-led organizations.

"Himanta Biswa Sarma is the lone MLA to have a doctorate degree. There are 27 others who have done their Masters. Eighteen other legislators have various professional degrees," said Tasaduk Ariful Hussain, the co-ordinator of NEW (Assam). The former health minister has done LLB and is a doctorate in philosophy.

Sushmita Dev, the youngest daughter of former Union minister Santosh Mohan Dev, completed her LLM in 1998, Bar-at-Law in 1998-1999 and PG Diploma from City University, London, in 1998-99. The report revealed that there are six MLAs who have completed MBBS and are eligible to practise medicine. Mangsing Rongpi of Baithalangso, Rumi Nath of Barkhetri, Nazrul Islam of Laharighat, Durlav Chandra Chamua of Nagaon, Ardhendu Kumar Dey and former chief minister Bhumidhar Barman - all from Congress - have MBBS degree.

Jamaluddin Ahmed of Congress from Badarpur constituency, who completed Class VII from Kaliganj ME School, has the lowest educational qualification among the 126 MLAs. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has done his BA and LLB. Former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, who won from Barhampur defeating Suresh Bora of Congress, is also a gradate in law. Four MLAs - Hemanta Talukdar, Nilamani Sen Deka, Rameswar Dhanowar and Rupjyoti Kurmi - haven't disclosed their educational qualifications. In the 2006 assembly elections, there were 90 MLAs who were graduates. Some among them even had higher qualification.

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