Only three women in the fray from Kashmir

Published on Apr 21, 2004 12:03 PM IST

All political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have made a lot of noise around the bill denying property rights to women marrying outsiders, but none of them seem to be serious about women's empowerment in the state.

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PTI | ByM I Jehangir (Press Trust of India), Srinagar

Although all political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have made a lot of noise for or against the controversial bill denying property rights to women marrying outsiders, none of them seem to be serious about women's empowerment in the state.

Out of the 34 candidates contesting the parliamentary polls from the three parliamentary constituencies in Kashmir valley, only three happen to be women.

Barring ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), no other recognised or registered political party has given a ticket to women from the Kashmir seats.

And of the three women candidates in the fray, only PDP President Mehbooba Mufti has the realistic chance of becoming only second woman Lok Sabha member from valley and third from the state.

Begum Akbar Jehan, wife of National Conference founder Shiekh Mohammad Abdullah, is so far the only woman Lok Sabha member from the valley who won the Srinagar seat in 1977 and Anantnag constituency in 1984 general elections. Besides Jehan, Congress leader Parvati Devi made it to the Lok Sabha in 1977 also.

Darakshan Andrabi and Mehmooda Shadab, both independent candidates from Srinagar constituency for this year's election might be in the fray just for the sake of contesting as National Conference President Omar Abdullah and PDP leader Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura are considered to be locked in a head-on fight for entry into the 14th lok sabha.

National Conference as well as PDP, who both claim to support the permanent resident (disqualification) bill which deprives women of property rights if they marry someone outside the state, blamed each other for non-passage of the bill in the legislative council.

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