Only 3 per cent women get tickets for J-K Assembly polls

  • PTI, None, Srinagar
  • Updated: Nov 13, 2014 17:49 IST

Only three per cent of womencandidates have been allotted tickets in Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls with ruling National Conference giving maximum number of five to the fairer sex.

Among the major parties, ruling National Conference has allotted the maximum number of seats to women by nominating five women candidates, including three sitting MLAs, in the list of 84 announced by the party for the elections to the 87-member House.

However, it is still miles away from the 33 per cent reservation for women that is under consideration at the national level for several years now.

Of the five NC candidates, social welfare minister Sakina Ittoo (Noorabad seat) and chairperson of State Commission for Women Shameema Firdous (Habbakadal seat) have a good chance of winning another term in the state assembly.

However, it will not be easy for them this time. Itoo will be facing tough competition from PDP's Abdul Majid Padder. In the Lok Sabha polls, the PDP candidate had taken a slender lead over the NC candidate from the Noorabad Segment.

While Firdous did not face Ittoo's situation in the LS polls, BJP's focus on minority Kashmiri Pandit votes in the assembly polls will pose a stern test for her.

The constituency has a record of extremely low voter turn out with 11.70 per cent in 2008 Assembly polls and just 3.08 per cent in 2002 polls.

The constituency has very high percentage of migrant Kashmiri Pandit voters.

The other three women candidates of the NC are contesting from various seats in Jammu region, where the party has lost considerable ground over the past two decades.

Congress has nominated three women candidates in its list of 84 with former health minister Suman Bhagat being the only one of having any chance of seeking second term in the Legislative Assembly.

Bhagat, who won in 2002 polls but lost in 2008 elections, is contesting from R S Pura seat. She had lost by 1630 votes in the last Assembly polls to BJP candidate Gharu Ram Bhagat.

Khem Lata Wakhloo of Congress will be locking horns with cief minister Omar Abdullah from Sonawar assembly segment but she might not even finish in the top two as PDP candidate Mohammad Ashraf Mir is expected to pose a formidable challenge to both of them.

PDP candidate Tariq Hamid Karra had fared better than the National Conference candidate and president Farooq Abdullah in the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year from the Sonawar assembly constituency.

Shameema Raina, a long term Mahila Congress leader, has been fielded from Zadibal constituency where the main contest is expected between PDP's Abid Ansari and National Conference's sitting MLA Peer Afaq Ahmad.

PDP has fielded only one woman candidate -- Asiea Naqash -- from Hazratbal Assembly constituency in Srinagar.

The constituency is considered to be a strong hold of the National Conference as its candidates have won all the previous elections from this seat.

However, time may change and Naqash might be well on course to become the first non-NC woman MLA from Srinagar.

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