The BJP and Congress law graduates contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections
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The BJP and Congress law graduates contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections

Aditya AK

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.

BJP

(Top L-R) Nitin Gadkari, Ravishankar Prasad Kiren Rijiju<br />(Bottom L-R) Meenakshi Lekhi, Sadananda Gowda, Ramachandra Rao
(Top L-R) Nitin Gadkari, Ravishankar Prasad Kiren Rijiju
(Bottom L-R) Meenakshi Lekhi, Sadananda Gowda, Ramachandra Rao

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:

NameConstituencyState/UTQualification (University)Status
P Sanyasi RajuVizianagramAndhra PradeshBL (Andhra University)Loss
Dileep KilaruVijayawadaAndhra PradeshLL.B (Osmania University)Loss
Kiren RijijuArunachal WestArunachal PradeshLL.B (Campus Law Centre, Delhi University)Win
Tapan GogoiJorhatAssamLL.B (Gauhati University)Win
Rajiv Pratap RudySaranBiharLL.B (Punjab University)Win
Ravi Shankar PrasadPatnaBiharLL.B (Patna University)Win
Guharam AjgaleJanjgir-ChampaChhattisgarhLL.B (Swami Bal Krishanpuri University, Raigarh)Win
Santosh PandeyRajnandgaonChhattisgarhWin
Ramesh BhiduriSouth DelhiDelhiLL.B (Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut)Win
Meenakshi LekhiNew DelhiDelhiLL.B (Campus Law Centre, Delhi University)Win
Narendra Keshav SawaikarSouth GoaGoaLL.B (VM Salgaocar Law College)Loss
Vinod ChavdaKachchGujaratLL.B (Lalan College, Bhuj)Win
Parbatbhai PatelBanaskanthaGujaratLL.B (Gujarat University)Win
Rattan Lal KatariyaAmbalaHaryanaLL.B (Kurukshetra University)Win
Nayab Singh SainiKurukshetraHaryanaLL.B (Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut)Win
Ramesh Chander KaushikSonipatHaryanaLL.B (Meerut University)Win
Rao Inderjeet SinghGurgaonHaryanaLL.B (Faculty of Law, Delhi University)Win
Krishan Pal GurjarFaridabadHaryanaLL.B (MMH College, Ghaziabad)Win
Sanjay SethRanchiJharkhandLL.B (Ranchi University)Win
Suresh AngadiBelgaumKarnatakaLL.B (Raja Lakhamgouda Law College, Belgaum)Win
PC GaddigoudarBagalkotKarnatakaLL.B (Raja Lakhamgouda Law College, Belgaum)Win
DV Sadananda GowdaBangalore NorthKarnatakaLL.B (Udupi Vaikunta Baliga College of Law)Win
Tejasvi SuryaBangalore SouthKarnatakaBA.LL.B (Bangalore Institute of Legal Studies)Win
KP Prakash BabuKozhikodeKeralaLL.M (Kannur University)Loss
Alphons KannanthanamErnakulamKeralaLL.B (Faculty of Law, Delhi University)Loss
KV SabuKollamKeralaLL.B (Kerala University)Loss
Prahlad Singh PatelDamohMadhya PradeshLL.B (Rani Durgavati University, Jabalpur)Win
Ganesh SinghSatnaMadhya PradeshLL.B (Law College, Satna)Win
Janardan MishraRewaMadhya PradeshLL.B (Thakur Ranmat Singh Degree College, Rewa)Win
Riti PathakSidhiMadhya PradeshLL.B (APS University, Rewa)Win
Faggan Singh KulasteMandlaMadhya PradeshLL.B (Rani Durgavati University, Jabalpur)Win
Gajendra PatelKhargoneMadhya PradeshLL.B (Christian College, Indore)Win
Mahendra SolankiDewasMadhya PradeshNAWin
Chhatar Singh DarbarDharMadhya PradeshLL.B (Christian College, Indore)Win
Nitin GadkariNagpurMaharashtraLL.B (University College of Law, Nagpur University)Win
Nirupam ChakmaMizoramMizoramLL.B (Mizoram Law College)Loss
Bhrugu BaxipatraBerhampurOdishaLL.B (Utkal University)Loss
Suresh PujariBargarhOdishaLL.B (LR Law College, Sambalpur University)Win
Bibhu Prasad TaraiJagatsinghpurOdishaLL.B (Madhusudan Law College, Cuttack)Loss
Anita SubhadarshiniAskaOdishaLL.B (Kalinga Law College)Loss
Prakash MishraCuttackOdishaLL.B (The Law College, Cuttack)Loss
Arjun Ram MeghwalBikanerRajasthanLL.B (Rajasthan University)Win
PP ChaudharyPaliRajasthanLL.B (Jai Narayan Vyas University, Jodhpur)Win
Pon RadhakrishnanKanniyakumariTamil NaduBL (Madras Law College)Loss
N Ramachandra RaoMalkajgiriTelanganaLL.B (Osmania University)Loss
M Raghunandan RaoMedakTelanganaLL.B (Osmania University)Loss
SP Singh BaghelAgraUttar PradeshLL.B (Meerut University)Win
Rajveer SinghEtahUttar PradeshLL.B (Agra University)Win
Santosh Kumar GangwarBareillyUttar PradeshLL.B (Rohilkhand University)Win
Ajay Kumar MishraKheriUttar PradeshLL.B (Kanpur University)Win
Bhanu Pratap VermaJalaunUttar PradeshLL.B (BKD College, Jhansi)Win
Pushpendra Singh ChandelHamirpurUttar PradeshLL.B (Bundelkhand University)Win
Lallu SinghFaizabadUttar PradeshLL.B (KS Saket PG College, Awadh University)Win
Brijbhushan Sharan SinghKaiserganjUttar PradeshLL.B (KS Saket PG College, Awadh University)Win
Jagdambika PalDomariyaganjUttar PradeshLL.B (Gorakhpur University)Win
Mukut BihariAmbedkar NagarUttar PradeshLL.B (Lucknow University)Loss
Jyotirmay Singh MahatoPuruliaWest BengalLL.B (Rourkela Law College)Win
SS AhluwaliaBurdwan-DurgapurWest BengalLL.B (University College of Law, Calcutta University)Win
Nilanjan RoyDiamond HarbourWest BengalLL.B (Balasore Law College)Loss
Bharati GhoshGhatalWest BengalLL.B (Burdwan University)Loss
Debjit SarkarSeramporeWest BengalLL.B (Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University)Loss

Congress

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.

(Top L-R) Salman Khurshid, Sushmita Dev (Bottom L-R) Vivek Tankha, Veerappa Moily
(Top L-R) Salman Khurshid, Sushmita Dev (Bottom L-R) Vivek Tankha, Veerappa Moily

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:

NameConstituencyState/UTQualification (University)Status
V Shruti DeviArakuAndhra PradeshLL.B (Campus Law Centre, Delhi University)Loss
N Narasimha RaoVijayawadaAndhra PradeshBL (CR Reddy College, Eluru)Loss
Pakkala SuribabuNarasaraopetAndhra PradeshBL (University College of Law, Nagpur)Loss
Yedla AdirajuVizianagaramAndhra PradeshBL (NBM College, Visakhapatnam)Loss
Sushmita DevSilcharAssamLL.M (King’s College, University of London)Loss
Biren Singh EngteAutonomous DistrictAssamLL.B (Gauhati University)Loss
Sabda Ram RabhaKokrajharAssamLL.B (Govt Law College, Gauhati University)Loss
Bhubaneswar KalitaMangaldoiAssamLL.B (University Law College, Guwahati)Loss
Meira KumarSasaramBiharLL.B (Indraprashta University)Loss
Syed Faisal AliSheoharBiharLL.B (Magadh University)Loss
CJ ChavdaGandhinagarGujaratLL.B (Gujarat University)Loss
Shruti ChaudharyBhiwani-MahendragarhHaryanaLL.B (BR Ambedkar College, Agra)Loss
Capt Ajay Singh YadavGurgaonHaryanaLL.B (Rajasthan University)Loss
Kuldeep SharmaKarnalHaryanaLL.B (Rajasthan University)Loss
Bhupinder Singh HoodaSonipatHaryanaLL.B (Law Faculty, Delhi University)Loss
Ram Lal ThakurHamirpurHimachal PradeshLL.B (Himachal Pradesh University)Loss
Raman BhallaJammuJammu & KashmirLL.B (University of Jammu)Loss
Subodh Kant SahayRanchiJharkhandLL.B (Ranchi University)Loss
Mallikarjun KhargeGulbargaKarnatakaLL.B (Seth Shankarlal Lahoti Law College, Gulbarga)Loss
BV NaikRaichurKarnatakaLL.B (KPES Law College, Dharwad)Loss
Veerappa MoilyChikkaballapurKarnatakaBL (Government Law College, Bangalore)Loss
KH MuniyappaKolarKarnatakaLL.B (Bangalore University)Loss
K SudhakaranKannurKeralaLL.B (Mangalore University)Win
Dean KuriakoseIdukkiKeralaWin
Kodikunnil SureshMavelikkaraKeralaLL.B (Govt Law College, Thiruvananthapuram)Win
Shashi TharoorThiruvananthapuramKeralaMasters in Law (Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University)Win
Shanimol UsmanAlappuzhaKeralaLL.B (Law Academy, Thiruvananthapuram)Loss
Adoor PrakashAttingalKeralaLL.B (Kerala University)Win
Hamdullah SayeedLakshadweepLakshadweepLL.B (ILS Law College, Pune)Loss
Kantilal BhuriaRatlamMadhya PradeshLL.B (Chandrashekhar Azad College, Jhabua)Loss
Ramniwas RawatMorenaMadhya PradeshLL.B (MLB College, Gwalior)Loss
Vivek TankhaJabalpurMadhya PradeshLL.B (Delhi University)Loss
KC PadaviNandurbarMaharashtraLL.M (Mumbai Vidyapeeth)Loss
Charulatha TokasWardhaMaharashtraLL.B (Government Law College, Mumbai)Loss
Sushilkumar ShindeSolapurMaharashtraLL.B (New Law College, Mumbai)Loss
KL ChishiNagalandNagalandLL.B (New Law College, Mumbai)Loss
Bhakta Charan DasKalahandiOdishaLL.B (LR Law College, Sambalpur)Loss
Dharanidhar NayakKendraparaOdishaBL (Madhusudhan Law College, Utkal University)Loss
Manish TewariAnandpur SahibPunjabLL.B (Campus Law Centre, Delhi University)Win
Santokh Singh ChaudharyJalandharPunjabLL.B (Punjab University)Win
Gopal Singh IdwaChittorgarhRajasthanLL.B (Rajasthan University)Loss
Vaibhav GehlotJodhpurRajasthanBA.LL.B (ILS, Pune)Loss
Ramnarain MeenaKotaRajasthanLL.B (Govt College, Kota)Loss
Subburaman ThirunavukkarasarTiruchirappalliTamil NaduBL (Madras Law College)Win
Manickam TagoreVirudhunagarTamil NaduLL.B (Bangalore University)Win
Karti ChidambaramSivagangaTamil NaduMCL (Cambridge University)Win
Ponnam PrabhakarKarimnagarTelanganaLL.B (Osmania University)Loss
Madhu Yashki GoudNizamabadTelanganaBL (Campus Law Centre, Delhi University)Loss
Subal BhowmikTripura WestTripuraLL.B (Calcutta University)Loss
Rajaram PalAkbarpurUttar PradeshLL.B (Kanpur University)Loss
Kunwar Sarvaraj SinghAonlaUttar PradeshLL.B (Lucknow University)Loss
Praveen AronBareillyUttar PradeshLL.B (Rohilkhand University)Loss
Nasimuddin SiddiquiBijnorUttar PradeshLL.B (Mahmoodabad Law College)Loss
Nirmal KhatriFaizabadUttar PradeshLL.B (KS Saket PG College, Ayodhya)Loss
Salman KhurshidFarrukhabadUttar PradeshBCL (Oxford University)Loss
Bal Krishna ChauhanGhosiUttar PradeshLL.B (Gorakhpur University)Loss
Brijlal KhabriJalaunUttar PradeshLL.B (Bundelkhand University)Loss
Shivsharan SinghJhansiUttar PradeshLL.B (Bundelkhand University)Loss
Zafar Ali NaqviKheriUttar PradeshLL.B (Lucknow University)Loss
RK ChaudharyMohanlalganjUttar PradeshLL.B (Awadh University)Loss
Sanjay KapoorRampurUttar PradeshLL.B (Rohilkhand University)Loss
Bhagwati Prasad ChoudharyRobertsganjUttar PradeshLL.B (Allahabad University)Loss
Pradeep TamtaAlmoraUttarakhandLL.B (Kumaon University)Loss
Ambrish KumarHaridwarUttarakhandLL.B (DAV College, Dehradun)Loss
Harish RawatNainital-Udham Singh NagarUttarakhandLL.B (Lucknow University)Loss
Pritam SinghTehri GarhwalUttarakhandLL.B (DAV College, Dehradun)Loss
Narayan Chandra KhanBishnupurWest BengalLL.B (Surendranath Law College, Kolkata)Loss
Saurav SahaDum DumWest BengalLL.B (University of Calcutta)Loss
Syed Shahid ImamKolkata NorthWest BengalLL.B (University of Calcutta)Loss
Intaj Ali ShahKrishnanagarWest BengalLL.B (University of Calcutta)Loss
Abu HenaMurshidabadWest BengalLL.B (University of Calcutta)Loss

Head-to-Head

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.

The BJP and Congress law graduates contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections

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.

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