BJP, Congress Fall Short Of Fielding More Women Candidates

BJP, Congress Fall Short Of Fielding More Women Candidates

We conducted surveys to identify the candidates with the most popular support and granted those tickets irrespective of caste, religion or gender.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Sunday, October 22, 2023, 11:19 PM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): In the ensuing assembly elections, of the 228 candidates announced by the BJP, only 28 are women, accounting for just 12.3% of all the candidates. Meanwhile, the Congress has announced 30 women candidates out of a total of 229, representing 13.1% of their field.

On one hand, both the parties advocate for the implementation of 33% reservation for women in the Lower House and state assemblies, but their ticket distribution does not align with these aspirations. This election marked the first major political test after the Women's Reservation Bill was passed in the Parliament. Although the Bill has been passed in the Parliament, it has not been enacted yet.

Despite this, there is an expectation that political parties would take proactive steps to include more women candidates. However, both major parties have fallen short of the 33% target, with neither even reaching half of that figure. In the 2018 Madhya Pradesh elections, 245 women contested, with 21 emerging victorious, constituting only 9% of women in the assembly. To know the stance of political parties on the issue, Free Press spoke to women spokesperson of both the parties.

BJP spokesperson Neha Bagga, said, “Compared to the last election, there has been a notable increase in the number of female candidates. We proudly stand as the only political entity where the state general secretary and state vice-president are women. Our commitment to female leadership extends from the central government to the state government, and even at the grassroots level, with women leading from the front as Panna Pramukhs too.

The BJP has consistently championed the participation of women, ensuring that deserving and active women in the field are granted tickets.” Congress vice-president, media department, Sangeeta Sharma, said, “We issued tickets to 30 women, surpassing the number allocated by the BJP. Right from the beginning, we emphasised on our commitment to select candidates with the highest chances of winning.

We conducted surveys to identify the candidates with the most popular support and granted those tickets irrespective of caste, religion or gender. Women who emerged as the winning candidates were hence given tickets. It appears that the BJP's approach to the Bill was primarily aimed to woo female voters in the five states preparing for elections.”

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