Come tomorrow, the results of the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections will be announced, at the end of what has been a gruelling election campaign.
Over the course of India’s history, lawyers have played significant roles in elected governments. Even in the present government, politicians who studied law (read our present Finance Minister) have been instrumental in taking decisions that affect the citizens of the country. So who are the potential legislators with a law background this time around?
A total of 133 law graduates from the two biggest parties – the BJP and the Congress – are running for office in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. And here, LL.M’s don’t matter. Only 3 of 133 candidates have a Masters degree in Law.
It is important to mention that most of them have little experience in legal practice, if any at all. Still, it is interesting to see how many law graduates end up becoming legislators on the big stage.
[Update 23/5, 20:30]: The tables now reflect how the candidates fared in the elections.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded a total of 61 candidates who have an education in law.
Out of these, 43 emerged victorious in their respective constituencies.
Amongst the more distinguished lawyers is incumbent Law Minister and Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad. A graduate of Patna University, Prasad was designated as Senior Advocate by the Patna High Court in 1999, and later by the Supreme Court in 2000. A prolific career in politics followed, with Prasad serving as Minister of State for Coal and Mines, Information & Broadcasting, and Law.
Contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections from the North Bangalore constituency is former Law Minister DV Sadananda Gowda. Shortly after graduating, Gowda served as a public prosecutor for a while before taking the plunge into politics. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2004. He was also Chief Minister of Karnataka from 2011-2012. Gowda was appointed Law Minister for the Modi government in 2014, before the charge was handed to Prasad.
One of the more prolific lawyers in the BJP list is Meenakshi Lekhi, who plied her trade in the Supreme Court of India and the Delhi High Court, among other fora. She was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2014.
N Ramachandra Rao, contesting from the Malkajgiri constituency in Telangana, is one of two Senior Advocates in the BJP’s ranks.
Also among the law graduates is incumbent Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari. An LL.B graduate from Nagpur University, Gadkari also served as BJP President from 2009-2013. Minister of State for Home Affairs and the face of the BJP in the North-East Kiren Rijiju is also a law graduate.
Here is the complete list of BJP candidates who are law graduates:
|P Sanyasi Raju||Vizianagram||Andhra Pradesh||BL (Andhra University)||Loss|
|Dileep Kilaru||Vijayawada||Andhra Pradesh||LL.B (Osmania University)||Loss|
|Kiren Rijiju||Arunachal West||Arunachal Pradesh||LL.B (Campus Law Centre, Delhi University)||Win|
|Tapan Gogoi||Jorhat||Assam||LL.B (Gauhati University)||Win|
|Rajiv Pratap Rudy||Saran||Bihar||LL.B (Punjab University)||Win|
|Ravi Shankar Prasad||Patna||Bihar||LL.B (Patna University)||Win|
|Guharam Ajgale||Janjgir-Champa||Chhattisgarh||LL.B (Swami Bal Krishanpuri University, Raigarh)||Win|
|Ramesh Bhiduri||South Delhi||Delhi||LL.B (Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut)||Win|
|Meenakshi Lekhi||New Delhi||Delhi||LL.B (Campus Law Centre, Delhi University)||Win|
|Narendra Keshav Sawaikar||South Goa||Goa||LL.B (VM Salgaocar Law College)||Loss|
|Vinod Chavda||Kachch||Gujarat||LL.B (Lalan College, Bhuj)||Win|
|Parbatbhai Patel||Banaskantha||Gujarat||LL.B (Gujarat University)||Win|
|Rattan Lal Katariya||Ambala||Haryana||LL.B (Kurukshetra University)||Win|
|Nayab Singh Saini||Kurukshetra||Haryana||LL.B (Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut)||Win|
|Ramesh Chander Kaushik||Sonipat||Haryana||LL.B (Meerut University)||Win|
|Rao Inderjeet Singh||Gurgaon||Haryana||LL.B (Faculty of Law, Delhi University)||Win|
|Krishan Pal Gurjar||Faridabad||Haryana||LL.B (MMH College, Ghaziabad)||Win|
|Sanjay Seth||Ranchi||Jharkhand||LL.B (Ranchi University)||Win|
|Suresh Angadi||Belgaum||Karnataka||LL.B (Raja Lakhamgouda Law College, Belgaum)||Win|
|PC Gaddigoudar||Bagalkot||Karnataka||LL.B (Raja Lakhamgouda Law College, Belgaum)||Win|
|DV Sadananda Gowda||Bangalore North||Karnataka||LL.B (Udupi Vaikunta Baliga College of Law)||Win|
|Tejasvi Surya||Bangalore South||Karnataka||BA.LL.B (Bangalore Institute of Legal Studies)||Win|
|KP Prakash Babu||Kozhikode||Kerala||LL.M (Kannur University)||Loss|
|Alphons Kannanthanam||Ernakulam||Kerala||LL.B (Faculty of Law, Delhi University)||Loss|
|KV Sabu||Kollam||Kerala||LL.B (Kerala University)||Loss|
|Prahlad Singh Patel||Damoh||Madhya Pradesh||LL.B (Rani Durgavati University, Jabalpur)||Win|
|Ganesh Singh||Satna||Madhya Pradesh||LL.B (Law College, Satna)||Win|
|Janardan Mishra||Rewa||Madhya Pradesh||LL.B (Thakur Ranmat Singh Degree College, Rewa)||Win|
|Riti Pathak||Sidhi||Madhya Pradesh||LL.B (APS University, Rewa)||Win|
|Faggan Singh Kulaste||Mandla||Madhya Pradesh||LL.B (Rani Durgavati University, Jabalpur)||Win|
|Gajendra Patel||Khargone||Madhya Pradesh||LL.B (Christian College, Indore)||Win|
|Mahendra Solanki||Dewas||Madhya Pradesh||NA||Win|
|Chhatar Singh Darbar||Dhar||Madhya Pradesh||LL.B (Christian College, Indore)||Win|
|Nitin Gadkari||Nagpur||Maharashtra||LL.B (University College of Law, Nagpur University)||Win|
|Nirupam Chakma||Mizoram||Mizoram||LL.B (Mizoram Law College)||Loss|
|Bhrugu Baxipatra||Berhampur||Odisha||LL.B (Utkal University)||Loss|
|Suresh Pujari||Bargarh||Odisha||LL.B (LR Law College, Sambalpur University)||Win|
|Bibhu Prasad Tarai||Jagatsinghpur||Odisha||LL.B (Madhusudan Law College, Cuttack)||Loss|
|Anita Subhadarshini||Aska||Odisha||LL.B (Kalinga Law College)||Loss|
|Prakash Mishra||Cuttack||Odisha||LL.B (The Law College, Cuttack)||Loss|
|Arjun Ram Meghwal||Bikaner||Rajasthan||LL.B (Rajasthan University)||Win|
|PP Chaudhary||Pali||Rajasthan||LL.B (Jai Narayan Vyas University, Jodhpur)||Win|
|Pon Radhakrishnan||Kanniyakumari||Tamil Nadu||BL (Madras Law College)||Loss|
|N Ramachandra Rao||Malkajgiri||Telangana||LL.B (Osmania University)||Loss|
|M Raghunandan Rao||Medak||Telangana||LL.B (Osmania University)||Loss|
|SP Singh Baghel||Agra||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (Meerut University)||Win|
|Rajveer Singh||Etah||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (Agra University)||Win|
|Santosh Kumar Gangwar||Bareilly||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (Rohilkhand University)||Win|
|Ajay Kumar Mishra||Kheri||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (Kanpur University)||Win|
|Bhanu Pratap Verma||Jalaun||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (BKD College, Jhansi)||Win|
|Pushpendra Singh Chandel||Hamirpur||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (Bundelkhand University)||Win|
|Lallu Singh||Faizabad||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (KS Saket PG College, Awadh University)||Win|
|Brijbhushan Sharan Singh||Kaiserganj||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (KS Saket PG College, Awadh University)||Win|
|Jagdambika Pal||Domariyaganj||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (Gorakhpur University)||Win|
|Mukut Bihari||Ambedkar Nagar||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (Lucknow University)||Loss|
|Jyotirmay Singh Mahato||Purulia||West Bengal||LL.B (Rourkela Law College)||Win|
|SS Ahluwalia||Burdwan-Durgapur||West Bengal||LL.B (University College of Law, Calcutta University)||Win|
|Nilanjan Roy||Diamond Harbour||West Bengal||LL.B (Balasore Law College)||Loss|
|Bharati Ghosh||Ghatal||West Bengal||LL.B (Burdwan University)||Loss|
|Debjit Sarkar||Serampore||West Bengal||LL.B (Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University)||Loss|
For the Indian National Congress, a total of 72 law graduates are contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.
Out of these, only 10 candidates won in their respective constituencies.
Former Law Minister and Senior Advocate Salman Khurshid is perhaps the most distinguished lawyer from amongst the lot. He is also one of the few law graduates from either party to hold a Masters degree in law, in his case, a BCL from Oxford University. He has also served as Minister for External Affairs and Minister of Minority Affairs at the Centre.
Another former Law Minister, Veerappa Moily [Read Interview] is contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections from the Chikkabalapur constituency in Karnataka. Like Sadananda Gowda, he has also served as Chief Minister of Karnataka. He has headed several Ministries including those of Power, Corporate Affairs, and Environment and Forests. He started a law firm called Moily Law Associates in Delhi in 2014.
Senior Advocate Vivek Tankha, contesting from the Jabalpur constituency, is also amongst the Congress’ ranks. He was designated in 1999, and subsequently passed up the chance to become a judge. Tankha is also on the General Council of National Law University, Bhopal.
Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge is also a law graduate. He initially worked with Shivaraj Patil, who went on to become a judge of the Supreme Court. After being elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009, Kharge went on to serve as Minister of Railways and Minister of Labour and Employment in the UPA-II government.
Although not a lawyer in the strict sense, Shashi Tharoor also has a background in law. He holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, USA. Tharoor went on to become Under Secretary General of the United Nations, before beginning his career in Indian politics. He is contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency.
Another politician with a foreign degree is Sushmita Dev, who did her LL.M from King’s College, London. The Congress candidate from Silchar, Assam recently filed a petition in the Supreme Court praying that the Election Commission take action against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah for MCC violations.
Son of Senior Advocate P Chidambaram, Karti Chidambaram also holds a Master’s degree in law from Cambridge University.
Here is the complete list of law graduates in the Congress camp:
|V Shruti Devi||Araku||Andhra Pradesh||LL.B (Campus Law Centre, Delhi University)||Loss|
|N Narasimha Rao||Vijayawada||Andhra Pradesh||BL (CR Reddy College, Eluru)||Loss|
|Pakkala Suribabu||Narasaraopet||Andhra Pradesh||BL (University College of Law, Nagpur)||Loss|
|Yedla Adiraju||Vizianagaram||Andhra Pradesh||BL (NBM College, Visakhapatnam)||Loss|
|Sushmita Dev||Silchar||Assam||LL.M (King’s College, University of London)||Loss|
|Biren Singh Engte||Autonomous District||Assam||LL.B (Gauhati University)||Loss|
|Sabda Ram Rabha||Kokrajhar||Assam||LL.B (Govt Law College, Gauhati University)||Loss|
|Bhubaneswar Kalita||Mangaldoi||Assam||LL.B (University Law College, Guwahati)||Loss|
|Meira Kumar||Sasaram||Bihar||LL.B (Indraprashta University)||Loss|
|Syed Faisal Ali||Sheohar||Bihar||LL.B (Magadh University)||Loss|
|CJ Chavda||Gandhinagar||Gujarat||LL.B (Gujarat University)||Loss|
|Shruti Chaudhary||Bhiwani-Mahendragarh||Haryana||LL.B (BR Ambedkar College, Agra)||Loss|
|Capt Ajay Singh Yadav||Gurgaon||Haryana||LL.B (Rajasthan University)||Loss|
|Kuldeep Sharma||Karnal||Haryana||LL.B (Rajasthan University)||Loss|
|Bhupinder Singh Hooda||Sonipat||Haryana||LL.B (Law Faculty, Delhi University)||Loss|
|Ram Lal Thakur||Hamirpur||Himachal Pradesh||LL.B (Himachal Pradesh University)||Loss|
|Raman Bhalla||Jammu||Jammu & Kashmir||LL.B (University of Jammu)||Loss|
|Subodh Kant Sahay||Ranchi||Jharkhand||LL.B (Ranchi University)||Loss|
|Mallikarjun Kharge||Gulbarga||Karnataka||LL.B (Seth Shankarlal Lahoti Law College, Gulbarga)||Loss|
|BV Naik||Raichur||Karnataka||LL.B (KPES Law College, Dharwad)||Loss|
|Veerappa Moily||Chikkaballapur||Karnataka||BL (Government Law College, Bangalore)||Loss|
|KH Muniyappa||Kolar||Karnataka||LL.B (Bangalore University)||Loss|
|K Sudhakaran||Kannur||Kerala||LL.B (Mangalore University)||Win|
|Kodikunnil Suresh||Mavelikkara||Kerala||LL.B (Govt Law College, Thiruvananthapuram)||Win|
|Shashi Tharoor||Thiruvananthapuram||Kerala||Masters in Law (Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University)||Win|
|Shanimol Usman||Alappuzha||Kerala||LL.B (Law Academy, Thiruvananthapuram)||Loss|
|Adoor Prakash||Attingal||Kerala||LL.B (Kerala University)||Win|
|Hamdullah Sayeed||Lakshadweep||Lakshadweep||LL.B (ILS Law College, Pune)||Loss|
|Kantilal Bhuria||Ratlam||Madhya Pradesh||LL.B (Chandrashekhar Azad College, Jhabua)||Loss|
|Ramniwas Rawat||Morena||Madhya Pradesh||LL.B (MLB College, Gwalior)||Loss|
|Vivek Tankha||Jabalpur||Madhya Pradesh||LL.B (Delhi University)||Loss|
|KC Padavi||Nandurbar||Maharashtra||LL.M (Mumbai Vidyapeeth)||Loss|
|Charulatha Tokas||Wardha||Maharashtra||LL.B (Government Law College, Mumbai)||Loss|
|Sushilkumar Shinde||Solapur||Maharashtra||LL.B (New Law College, Mumbai)||Loss|
|KL Chishi||Nagaland||Nagaland||LL.B (New Law College, Mumbai)||Loss|
|Bhakta Charan Das||Kalahandi||Odisha||LL.B (LR Law College, Sambalpur)||Loss|
|Dharanidhar Nayak||Kendrapara||Odisha||BL (Madhusudhan Law College, Utkal University)||Loss|
|Manish Tewari||Anandpur Sahib||Punjab||LL.B (Campus Law Centre, Delhi University)||Win|
|Santokh Singh Chaudhary||Jalandhar||Punjab||LL.B (Punjab University)||Win|
|Gopal Singh Idwa||Chittorgarh||Rajasthan||LL.B (Rajasthan University)||Loss|
|Vaibhav Gehlot||Jodhpur||Rajasthan||BA.LL.B (ILS, Pune)||Loss|
|Ramnarain Meena||Kota||Rajasthan||LL.B (Govt College, Kota)||Loss|
|Subburaman Thirunavukkarasar||Tiruchirappalli||Tamil Nadu||BL (Madras Law College)||Win|
|Manickam Tagore||Virudhunagar||Tamil Nadu||LL.B (Bangalore University)||Win|
|Karti Chidambaram||Sivaganga||Tamil Nadu||MCL (Cambridge University)||Win|
|Ponnam Prabhakar||Karimnagar||Telangana||LL.B (Osmania University)||Loss|
|Madhu Yashki Goud||Nizamabad||Telangana||BL (Campus Law Centre, Delhi University)||Loss|
|Subal Bhowmik||Tripura West||Tripura||LL.B (Calcutta University)||Loss|
|Rajaram Pal||Akbarpur||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (Kanpur University)||Loss|
|Kunwar Sarvaraj Singh||Aonla||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (Lucknow University)||Loss|
|Praveen Aron||Bareilly||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (Rohilkhand University)||Loss|
|Nasimuddin Siddiqui||Bijnor||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (Mahmoodabad Law College)||Loss|
|Nirmal Khatri||Faizabad||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (KS Saket PG College, Ayodhya)||Loss|
|Salman Khurshid||Farrukhabad||Uttar Pradesh||BCL (Oxford University)||Loss|
|Bal Krishna Chauhan||Ghosi||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (Gorakhpur University)||Loss|
|Brijlal Khabri||Jalaun||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (Bundelkhand University)||Loss|
|Shivsharan Singh||Jhansi||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (Bundelkhand University)||Loss|
|Zafar Ali Naqvi||Kheri||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (Lucknow University)||Loss|
|RK Chaudhary||Mohanlalganj||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (Awadh University)||Loss|
|Sanjay Kapoor||Rampur||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (Rohilkhand University)||Loss|
|Bhagwati Prasad Choudhary||Robertsganj||Uttar Pradesh||LL.B (Allahabad University)||Loss|
|Pradeep Tamta||Almora||Uttarakhand||LL.B (Kumaon University)||Loss|
|Ambrish Kumar||Haridwar||Uttarakhand||LL.B (DAV College, Dehradun)||Loss|
|Harish Rawat||Nainital-Udham Singh Nagar||Uttarakhand||LL.B (Lucknow University)||Loss|
|Pritam Singh||Tehri Garhwal||Uttarakhand||LL.B (DAV College, Dehradun)||Loss|
|Narayan Chandra Khan||Bishnupur||West Bengal||LL.B (Surendranath Law College, Kolkata)||Loss|
|Saurav Saha||Dum Dum||West Bengal||LL.B (University of Calcutta)||Loss|
|Syed Shahid Imam||Kolkata North||West Bengal||LL.B (University of Calcutta)||Loss|
|Intaj Ali Shah||Krishnanagar||West Bengal||LL.B (University of Calcutta)||Loss|
|Abu Hena||Murshidabad||West Bengal||LL.B (University of Calcutta)||Loss|
Though they may never meet in a court room, a number of law graduate candidates are running from the same constituency. In Andhra Pradesh’s Vizianagaram, the BJP’s P Sanyasi Raju, and the Congress’ Yedla Adiraju are at loggerheads. In Gurgaon, Rao Inderjeet Singh and Capt Ajay Singh Yadav will go head-to-head. Similarly, in Sonipat, Ramesh Chander Kaushik and Bhupender Singh Hooda will face off. Lallu Singh and Nirmal Khatri will battle it out in Uttar Pradesh’s Faizabad district.
Most Common Law Schools
The law colleges in Delhi University – whether it be the Campus Law Centres or the Faculty of Law – appear to be the most common law schools the politicians have attended. As many as nine candidates have attended these colleges, with the likes of Meenakshi Lekhi, Vivek Tankha, Kiren Rijiju and Manish Tewari amongst the high profile alumni.
Six candidates went to colleges under the Calcutta University, while four went to those law schools affiliated to Lucknow University.
Odds and Ends
The list of law graduates contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections also features some candidates with interesting backgrounds. The BJP has decided to field one of the youngest candidates, Tejasvi Surya from the Bangalore South constituency. The party has also has within its ranks a former civil judge, Mahendra Solanki, who is running from the Dewas constituency in Madhya Pradesh. The Congress has given a ticket to CJ Chavda, a law graduate and a veterinarian contesting from Gandhinagar in Gujarat.