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Lok Sabha elections 2014: Parties give women contenders a miss!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 - 7:52pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: Zee Research Group

Despite all the claims of giving greater representation to women in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, of the total 1325 candidates fielded by the three major political parties (Congress, BJP, and AAP) just about 12 % happen to be women.

In the recently concluded LS polls, the three mainline parties have announced 157 women candidates. Maximum 60 women candidates were fielded by the oldest party which holds the view that the country can be transformed into a super power by giving more representation to the 'fair sex'.

The new entrant, Aam Admi Party (AAP) has followed Congress (INC). While AAP has announced 59 female candidates for 2014 polls, the saffron party has selected only 38 women candidates.

Interestingly, in % terms AAP has surpassed the traditional players (BJP, Congress). AAP has offered a meager 13.59 % tickets to female candidates followed by Congress (12.96 %), and BJP (8.88 %).

This explains that why women remain grossly under-represented at the Indian Parliament. Just 11 % of seats were held by women in 15th Lok Sabha as against the global average of nearly 21 %.

Not ignoring the importance of UP which represents 80 out of the 543 members of Lok Sabha, the political parties have fielded some prominent women candidates from there.

For instance, Congress has made the party president Sonia Gandhi as the candidate from Rae Bareli. Further, the party has selected former Uttar Pradesh PCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi as the candidate from Lucknow.

Likewise, BJP has made Uma Bharti and Maneka Gandhi as their candidate from Jhansi and Pilibhit respectively.

While AAP has given ticket to TV journalist turned politician Shazia Ilmi (Ghaziabad), Dimple Yadav (Kannauj) got selected by Samajwadi Party to fight the LS polls.

Other prominent women who were given tickets by the parties across the nation include: Atal Bihari Vajpayee's niece Karuna Shukla (INC), Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar (INC), actress Hema Malini (BJP), TV actress turned politician Smriti Irani (BJP), former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi (RJD), former Delhi women, child development and social welfare minister Rakhi Birla (AAP).

Likewise, Priya Sunil Dutt (INC), Meenakshi Natrajan (INC), Sushma Swaraj (BJP), Harsimrat Kaur (SAD), Preneet Kaur (INC), Shruti Chaudhary (INC) are some sitting MPs who got re-nominated for the big event.

Exhibit: Key women contestants participated in 2014 LS polls


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