Jamshedpur is no constituency for women politicians | ranchi | Hindustan Times
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Jamshedpur is no constituency for women politicians

The first time a woman contested Lok Sabha elections from here was in 1991 — almost 40 years after Independence. And since then, Jamshedpur has sent only three women to the lower house of Parliament.

ranchi Updated: Mar 14, 2014 15:43 IST

GHATSILA: In the last five years, the number of women voters in Jamshedpur Lok Sabha constituency has gone up by 10,1,119. The first time a woman contested Lok Sabha elections from here was in 1991 — almost 40 years after Independence. And since then, Jamshedpur has sent only three women to the lower house of Parliament.The first woman candidate who ventured to challenge men in the election fray was Mira Kumari, who had fought the election as an Independent. She was defeated by Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) candidate Sailendra Mahato.

In the next elections in 1996, Nitish Bharadwaj - who had gained fame as Krishna is TV serial Mahabharat - had won the elections overwhelmingly on a BJP ticket. There was no woman candidate in fray.

In 1998, Sailendra Mahato’s wife, Abha was fielded by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and she became the first woman to win from Jamshedpur. She defeated Russi Modi, the former chairman and managing director of Tata Steel, who fought the elections as an Independent.

In 1999, Abha was re-elected in the by-elections, in which she defeated Ghanashyam Mahato of Congress. However, in 2004 Abha was defeated by Sunil Mahato who had fought the polls on a JMM Ticket. After Sunil was assassinated by Maoists in 2007, the JMM propped up his widow Suman Mahato in the by-election. Riding a huge sympathy wave, Suman sailed through, defeating her nearest rival BJP’s Dinesh Sarangi.

But Suman could not retain her seat in the 2009 election when BJP’s Arjun Munda defeated her. After Munda became chief minister of Jharkhand, the seat once again fell vacant and election was declared in 2011.

This time Abha tried her luck on a Trinamool Congress ticket but was defeated by Ajoy Kumar of Jharkhand Vikash Morcha (JVM-P). With the general elections set for the month of April, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) is said to be considering Sabita Mahato, widow of former deputy chief minister Sudhir Mahato.