Women account for only 6% of candidates in fray for 14 seats in Ludhiana
Of the 175 candidates in fray for the 14 assembly seats in Ludhiana, only 12 (6%) candidates are women; Indian National Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party have not fielded women on any of the 14 seats in Ludhiana
Even as political parties across the spectrum are making tall claims of working towards women empowerment, they could not walk the talk when it came to giving tickets to women contenders.
Of the 175 candidates in fray for the 14 assembly seats in Ludhiana, only 12 (6%) candidates are women. While among the mainstream parties, only Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) have put faith in women candidates, the Indian National Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party, which is fighting in alliance with the Punjab Lok Congress, has not even fielded one woman on any of the 14 seats.
AAP has fielded two women candidates, Jagraon’s incumbent MLA Sarvjit Kaur Manuke and first-timer Rajinder Pal Kaur from Ludhiana South. Manuke had registered a thumping victory in 2017 assembly elections, bagging 61,521 votes from Jagraon.
SAD fielded Jasdeep Kaur Yadu from Khanna after her husband Yadwinder Singh failed to get a stay on his conviction in a case from Punjab and Haryana High Court to contest 2022 elections.
Surinder Kaur Bains, the wife of incumbent Atam Nagar MLA and Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) chief Simarjit Singh Bains, is an accidental candidate. She had filed her papers as the covering candidate for her husband, but forgot to withdraw her nomination, due to which she has ended up becoming an independent candidate in fray against her husband. Surinder, however, is campaigning in favour of her husband.
The LIP meanwhile has fielded one woman candidate-- Tejinder Kaur Sandhu from Jagraon.
Bahujan Mukti Party has given tickets to two women candidates-- Promila Ralhan Bani from Ludhiana North and Anita Shah from Ludhiana West.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party has fielded Manju from Ludhiana North.
In Payal constituency, Rajdeep Kaur got the ticket from Jai Jawan Jai Kisan Party and Aas Punjab Party gave ticket to Sarabjit Kaur to contest from Ludhiana West.
Kamaljit Kaur from Samrala and Surinder Pal Kaur from Sahnewal are contesting as independent candidates respectively.
What they say
“AAP believes in women empowerment. Though I am fighting my first assembly elections, I was offered a ticket in 2017 too. It was cancelled after AAP allied with LIP here. We already have a woman MLA from Jagraon. The ruling party has been betraying women here but voters won’t be fooled this time,” said Rajinder Pal Kaur.
Meanwhile, Pushpinder Singhal, the district president of the BJP while defending his party for not fielding any women candidates in Ludhiana, said, “BJP has the maximum number of women councillors in the municipal corporation here. Moreover, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given key ministries to the women in the Union Government”
“Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna Scheme for women is another example of his vision for women empowerment in the country. During ticket allocation in Punjab, our party went with the best candidates for each seat, it was not intentional that there are no women candidates from here,” he added.
On other hand, Ashwani Sharma, president of district Congress committee (urban) said that though Congress didn’t field any women on Ludhiana seats, but across the state, the male-female ratio in terms of ticket allocation is decent.
Taking a dig at AAP, he added, “Congress has strong women leaders including Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Aruna Chaudhary and Razia Sultana but Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal hasn’t included any female minister in his cabinet in Delhi.”