Utpal Borpujari

April 29, 2009

Women candidates: few and far between in MP

Filed under: Deccan Herald,Indian Politics,Media,Politics — Utpal Borpujari @ 3:29 pm
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By Utpal Borpujari in Bhopal

The political parties that are first off the block every time they get a chance to mouth their support for the long-pending Women’s Reservation Bill are loath to practice what they preach.

And Madhya Pradesh provides a clear example of this. Out of its candidates for the 29 seats, BJP has fielded only four, while Congress has fared worse, being able to find only two women to represent it.


Among the four women candidates fielded by BJP, three – Sushma Swaraj (Vidisha), Sumitra Mahajan (Indore) and Yashodhara Raje Scindia (Gwalior) – are veteran politicians while the fourth, Jyoti Dhurve from Betul, is a new face.


On the other hand, Congress’ Meenakshi Natarajan, AICC secretary attached to general secretary Rahul Gandhi, makes her electoral debut from Mandsaur against BJP veteran Lakshminaryana Pandeya, who is seeking to enter Lok Sabha for the ninth time and thereby equal Madhavrao Scindia’s record for the maximum number of stints in the Lower House.


The other Congress candidate is  Rajesh Nandini Singh from Shahdol.


Sources in both the parties give the excuse of “winnability” being the most important factor while choosing candidates.


“That is the only reason why are having so few women candidates, even while we remain committed to reservation for women,” says a senior Congress leader in the state. The argument is echoed by MP BJP spokesperson Archana Chitnis.


Their argument might have some basis since out of the 221 women candidates in the recent Assembly elections, barely 25 could taste success.

 Incidentally, Congress finds itself in a difficult situation in Sidhi because it refused to give ticket to Veena Singh, the daughter of party veteran Arjun Singh.

 Ironically, Mayawati-led BSP and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s SP have failed to  field a single woman candidate from the state, while the firebrand Uma Bharti, after becoming soft towards BJP again, still chose to keep out of the electoral race this time.

 (Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 25-04-2009)


1 Comment »

  1. […] Original post by utpalb21 […]

    Pingback by Women candidates: few and far between in MP — April 29, 2009 @ 4:04 pm | Reply

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