Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): In the male-dominated politics of Madhya Pradesh, women leaders are trying hard to create a niche for themselves. In Assembly elections held so far in the state, about 20 women were elected MLAs, on an average.
In 2018, 21 women leaders were elected to Madhya Pradesh Assembly. In 2013, about 200 women candidates tried their luck from different political parties or as independents. Of them, 30 were elected.
In 2008, 226 women were in the fray and of them, 25 were elected MLAs. In 2003, 211 women were in fray and of them 19 won the election. In 1998, about 294 women fought the election and of them only 26 won.
Surprisingly, most women contested from SC, ST seats. “ To fulfil women quota, political parties field women from reserved seats. This should change and political parties should have faith in women leaders and give more tickets to them. Women MLAs can run government well,” said state BJP Mahila Morcha president Maya Naroliya.
In 1990 Assembly election, only 11 women candidates won, which was the least number of women reaching the Assembly. They were among 153 women candidates who had contested. In 1985 (undivided Madhya Pradesh), 31 women won, which was the highest number.
A woman leader wishing anonymity said, "Leaders field their wives who lose because they have no public connect. Women who are active in public life should be fielded. If this happens, winning percentage of women will improve."
Do women receive less votes because male voters are more? Congress leader Vibha Patel said women candidates are not good at political tactics, which leads to their defeat.
Moreover, men are incharge of election management as parties don't have faith in women leadership.
When asked how women candidates can improve female winning percentage, she said men should change mindset and support women candidates.