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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: In , only 11 women could get elected in 70 years

The first woman MP of Kannauj was Sheila Dikshit who contested and won in 1984. Dimple Yadav, as a second woman MP won in 2012 and she is seeking a third term in this election. Before her, another woman, Pratima Chaturvedi, contested the seat in 2000 and ended up on the losing side with 22,000 votes.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 17, 2019 10:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kanpur
Lok Sabha Elections 2019,Kanpur region,first woman MP of Kannauj
Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti(Hindustan Times)

When Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti won from Fatehpur in 2014, polling more than 45% votes, she became the first woman MP since independence elected on a seat.

Faraway in Jhansi, another firebrand leader, Uma Bharti’s victory, was another first by a woman in 37 years.

In the Kanpur-Bundelkhand region’s 11 Lok Sabha seats, just 11 women have been elected to parliament from the time the first Lok Sabha elections were held in October 1951. Kannauj, which came into being as a parliament seat in 1967, is the only one that has elected women twice as its MP.

The first woman MP of Kannauj was Sheila Dikshit who contested and won in 1984. Dimple Yadav, as a second woman MP won in 2012 and she is seeking a third term in this election. Before her, another woman, Pratima Chaturvedi, contested the seat in 2000 and ended up on the losing side with 22,000 votes.

“The irony is that Bundelkhand showed the way in political empowerment of women way back in the 60s. At one time, it had two women MPs and that was the golden period,” said Bhanu Sahay, a political analyst.

Sushila Nayyar won for the first time in 1962 and represented Jhansi four times in parliament. The last time she won was in 1977 on a Bharatiya Lok Dal ticket. Her contemporary Savitri Nigam won in 1962 from the Banda-Chitrakoot seat.

“It was a golden age for the two constituencies. They worked in tandem and brought a number of projects, including the medical college,” said Sahay. “Just imagine they came to this position in a deeply feudal and patriarchal society like the one we have even today,” he said.

But they were the last of their generation in Bundelkhand where the politics became all about caste and muscle power. No wonder, of the total four Lok Sabha seats, two – Jalaun and Hamirpur – are yet to elect a woman as an MP.

Similarly, Farrukhabad hasn’t reposed faith in a woman since 1952 when it was officially designated as a Lok Sabha seat. Mithlesh Kumari was the first woman to contest the seat in 2009 and she was fourth with 19.3% votes.

Kanpur, the biggest city with the biggest voter base, has not elected a woman since Subhashini Ali in 1989. Unnao got its first woman MP Annu Tandon in 2009 who polled a record 50% votes. And Sukhda Mishra won in Etawah on a BJP ticket way back in 1998.

Usha Verma after Sushila Nayyar is the only woman politician who was elected as an MP twice in 1998 and 2009. “More than winning it’s the negligible number women who have contested the elections in this region in last 70 years; it is less than 20. It is time political parties work together and ensure 33% representation to women,” said SP Singh, a poll analyst in Kanpur.

First Published: Apr 17, 2019 10:47 IST