All Congress, BJP women candidates win in Madhya Pradesh

May 17th, 2009 - 5:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bhopal, May 17 (IANS) Though political parties often quote the “winnability factor” as the reason why women candidates are not given their fair share of party tickets, all the six women fielded by the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh won the Lok Sabha polls this time.
While the BJP had fielded four women candidates, the Congress had two.

The Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwai Party did not field any women candidate for the state’s 29 Lok Sabha seats.

While high profile BJP candidates like former union minister Sushma Swaraj, Yashodhara Raje Scindia and six-time MP Sumitra Mahajan won fron Vidisha, Gwalior and Indore respectively, little known Jyoti Dhurve of the safforn party defeated Ojharam Ivne of Congress in Betul.

Swaraj won the polls with a margin of over 300,000 votes which is the highest in the state.

Congress candidate Rahesh Nandini Singh defeated BJP stalwart Narendra Maravi from Shahdol and Meenakshi Natrajan proved to be a giant killer defeating BJP veteran Laxmi Narayan Pandey, a six-time MP, from Mandsaur.

“The names of some other women candidates were also in the list of panels but they failed to get party symbol when it came to winnability factor,” said a senior Congress leader.

“Apart from representation, any party will also look to the winning potential of the candidate and this is the reason why members of fair sex are left behind,” he said.

A political analyst said that the fact all six women candidates won with comfortable margins could be an eye-opener for the parties in Madhya Pradesh who have always let down women when it comes to ticket distribution.

Women constitute around 47 percent of voters in the state. But both the main political parties, despite advocating reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies, have been reluctant when it came to fielding them for the Lok Sabha polls.

The BJP has been patting itself on the back for enhancing the women’s representation in village councils and civic bodies to 50 percent from 33 percent. But the same spirit was found to be missing in general elections.

State BJP spokesperson Archana Chitnis said: “I’m confident that in the near future, the representation (of women) would further improve. Apart from representation to women, the party has also to look to the winnability factor.”

She claimed that the BJP always fielded women candidates from “strong seats only”.

In November 2008 Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, 221 women candidates had entered the poll arena and only 25 could get through, with the BJP leading with 15, followed by Congress (eight), the Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya JanShakti (one each).

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