They’re ambitious, determined, sensitive yet aggressive.
And this election, many political parties are deciding to give these women candidates a shot.
There does seem to be a rider, though: Most of the women are relatives of powerful politicians, and have no qualms about admitting that their entry into the electoral fray was made easier by the dynasties they belong to.
“But the surname is not all we’re offering,” said Shilpa Sarpotdar (41), daughter-in-law of former Shiv Sena MP Madhukar Sarpotdar. “We offer a changed vision, a new way of thinking, a fresh outlook on vital issues. Women are good at multitasking and are energetic too.”
Shilpa will contest from Bandra East on a Maharashtra Navnirman Sena ticket.
Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde’s daughter Pankaja Palve-Munde, who is contesting from Parli-Vaijnath in Beed, said she feels she has a personal bond with the people there, since that is where she grew up.
“On any given day, I answer nearly 80 calls from locals wanting to share their problems,” she said.
Other women politicians feel the trend is also a move towards better representation for all.
“The idea is to represent every section of society,” said Supriya Sule, NCP MP from Baramati (Pune). “Once elected, the responsibility is the same. But there are a lot of issues that female candidates may perceive differently and react to with more sensitivity.”
Analysts feel the trend is encouraging, but rue that fact that most of the women are from powerful political dynasties.
“Only the empowered ones from political background have been able to get tickets,” said Uttara Sahastrabudhhe, reader with the Department of Civics and Politics at the University of Mumbai.
Added political analyst Sanjay Ranade: “When male power becomes stagnant, the women are given a chance to take over.”