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Kendrapara: Highly qualified candidates like IIT graduates, post graduates, law graduates and retired government servants are in the fray for the three-tier panchayat polls in Kendrapara district this time.

Though in the past, highly educated people kept away from rural polls, this time they have expressed their desire to fight the polls for development of their respective rural pockets.

More than one-third of candidates who are contesting the Zilla Parishad polls in Kendrapara district, are graduates or above that level while none of the candidates who are in the fray are illiterates, according to the affidavits furnished by the contestants to the state election commission.

Of the 117 candidates in the fray for Zilla Parishad polls, 42 of them are either graduates or additional degree holders. Of them, 15 are master degree holders or have degrees in technical science.

Above thirty-five per cent of the candidates contesting the ZP zones are degree holders or higher educational degree holders.

While BJD accounts for fielding 18 graduates, BJP and Congress have allotted party tickets to 10 and 7 candidates with graduate or above degree holders.

While 35 candidates managed to clear HSC examination, 13 contestants from ZP zones have passed intermediate examination.

Of the 117 candidates in the fray, 23 of them have not managed to clear high school certificate examination, which accounts for 19.65 per cent of total nominees contesting the ZP polls from this politically-sensitive coastal district.

Highly educated people evincing keen interest in rural development by contesting in the panchayat polls is a positive development. That does not imply that people with lesser educational qualification are not fit to govern the rural bodies in effective manner. However qualified people can better grasp the government programmes for its better implementation , remarked an office-bearer of retired government employees association, Abani Mohan Mohanty.

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