Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Not one, two, or three, but a total of seven women are making waves in the political arena by challenging the unbeatable BJP heavyweight Gopal Bhargava in his bastion Rehli in Sagar district.
This seasoned, eight-time MLA with a spotless 38-year track record, now faces a formidable line-up of female contenders in his constituency Rehli. This is the only constituency where there are seven female candidates, five of whom are contesting as independents.
While Congress has fielded an engineer Jyoti Patel against Bhargava, Gondwana Gantantra Party has pitted Rajni Kushwaha against Bhargava. The electoral landscape becomes even more interesting as five other women candidates, namely Jyotee Patel, Rajni Gupta, Rajkumari Kurim, Shyamrani Kurmi, and Savitri, have entered the fray as independents.
In the electoral battleground against Bhargava, apart from these women, six additional candidates have thrown their hats into the ring. Though women form just 10 per cent of the total candidates -2533-, their number is the highest in this election.
While BJP and Congress put together have fielded 56 women candidates, a total of 252 females are contesting assembly elections this time. Interestingly, 89 women entered poll battle as independent candidate.
While Rehli leads with maximum number of independent women candidates, Bhind stands a close second with four females as independent candidates followed by Chachoura from where three women are contesting as independent.
89 Women going solo
Vindhya region-- 19
Mahakaushal -- 19
Bundelkhand region-- 17
Malwa-Nimar -- 14
Max Independent women candidates
-Rehli -- 5
-Bhind - 4
-Chachoura - 3
Constituencies Witness Exclusive Female Face-Off
A total of 56 women candidates from the ruling party and the key opposition Congress are actively participating in the electoral race. Notably, there are five constituencies where there is a direct face-off between women candidates of the two parties.
Three time legislator Neena Vikram Verma of BJP is in straight fight with Congress candidate Prabha Gautam in Dhar. This is not the first time that there is a faceoff between the two women.
The duo had come face to face in 2018 as well and Verma had defeated the Congress candidate by margin of 5,718 votes then. Interestingly, two rebel candidates of the Congress and BJP, who are now contesting as independents, have made the elections intriguing.
It’s woman vs woman in Bhikangaon as well. Here Jhuma Solanki (Cong) and Nanda Brahmane (BJP) are battling it out. Besides, the female candidates of the two arch rivals – Congress and BJP- are facing each other in Raigaon, Nepanagar and Pandhana also.
Seat Cong BJP
Dhar Prabha Gautam Neena Vikram Verma
Bhikangaon Jhuma Solanki Nanda Brahmane
Pandhana Rupali Bare Chhaya More
Nepanagar Gendubai Chouhan Manju Rajendra Dadu
Raigaon Kalpana Verma Pratima Bargi
Four women lead the charge in Sagar Dist
The Congress has edged past its arch-rival BJP by allocating a slightly higher number of tickets to women candidates. While Congress has fielded 30 women candidates, BJP gave tickets to 26. Notably, the opposition party has seized the spotlight by fielding women on four out of eight seats in Sagar district. The selected candidates include Nidhi Jain from Sagar, Nirmala Sapre from Bina, Jyoti Patel from Rehli, and Raksha Rajput from Khurai. This marks the first instance where any political party has granted tickets to such a significant number of women candidates from a single district.
Sagar- Nidhi Jain (Cong) vs Shailendra Kumar Jain (BJP)
Bina- Nirmala Sapre (Cong) vs Mahesh Rai (BJP)
Rehli -: Jyoti Patel (Cong) vs Gopal Bhargava (BJP)
Khurai- : Raksha Singh Rajput (Cong) vs Bhupendra Singh (BJP)
29 women candidates find mention in police records
29 women are among 430 candidates having criminal case registered against them. While Congress tops the list with 11 women candidates facing criminal charges, the ruling BJP has fielded five women candidates with tainted record. SP which has fielded 72 candidates in MP has given ticket to 3 women who have police records. APP shares the figures with SP in this regard. Independent and others parties have six such women candidates in fray.
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