Mumbai: When it comes to giving tickets to women in Assembly polls, the record of political parties in Maharashtra is abysmally poor. There were only 6.7 per cent women among the contestants in the 2014 state elections, which was a tad better than 5.2 per cent in 2009. It would be interesting to see if the parties give women their due as the state goes to the polls on October 21. Of the 4,119 candidates in the fray in 2014, only 277 were women. Among the 288 victors, there were 20 women. The winning percentage of both men and women candidates was the same, 0.14 per cent.
The Shiv Sena had fielded 12 women candidates, the BJP 20, Congress 27 and NCP 18. Twelve women from the BJP, five from the Congress and three from the NCP won. Shiv Sena's Trupti Sawant later won a by-election in Bandra East, defeating Congress candidate and former chief minister Narayan Rane.
The percentage of women who got tickets was even lower in 2009. Only 5.2 per cent of the candidates were women, and 11 of them entered the Assembly. But the women's strike rate was better that year at 0.19 per cent, against 0.12 per cent of men. Maharashtra Congress women's wing chief Charulata Tokas said she has demanded 34 seats for women in this election. "We have submitted a list of women who are grass-root workers with a base to the party leadership. We have demanded 34, and expect at least 25 seats," she said.
State BJP spokesperson Shaina NC said, "Maximum representation for women is the need of the hour. Give us a chance and see that our strike rate is better. Good women candidates are certainly winnable.