Congress, BJP have just six women candidates in Madhya Pradesh

April 6th, 2009 - 1:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bhopal, April 6 (IANS) Women may comprise 47 percent of Madhya Pradesh’s electorate, but the two main parties together have fielded just six candidates for the 29 Lok Sabha seats - the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) four and the opposition Congress two.
The two parties have also been advocating 33 percent reservation for women in all bodies. But this does not seem to translate into a more equitable distribution of nominations.

The smaller parties are no different. The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has not fielded even one woman. Ditto with the Samajwadi Party.

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

So, it could fix on only two women - Rajesh Nandini Singh from Shahdol and Meenakshi Natrajan from Mandsore.

The BJP, which has increased women’s representation in panchayats and civic bodies to 50 percent from 33 percent, could manage four, including two MPs. They are Yashodhara Raje Scindia from Gwalior, Jyoti Dhurve from Betul, Sushma Swaraj from Vidisha and Sumitra Mahajan from Indore.

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

Women candidates did not fare well in the November 2008 assembly elections. A total of 221 women candidates entered the poll arena and only 25 could get through. The BJP led the tally with 15 women legislators, followed by the Congress with eight and the Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janshakti Party with one each.

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