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

Aditya AK May 22 2019
2019 Lok Sabha Elections

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
(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:

Name Constituency State/UT Qualification (University) Status
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
Santosh Pandey Rajnandgaon Chhattisgarh - 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

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

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:

Name Constituency State/UT Qualification (University) Status
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
Dean Kuriakose Idukki Kerala - 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

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.

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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