Their 2014 power forgotten, women given a short shrift
While the BJP-led NDA, which has been accusing the opposition of stalling a bill envisaging 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and legislative assemblies, has given tickets to just three women, the Grand Alliance has given tickets to five women.Updated: Mar 31, 2019 12:59 IST
Women candidates in Bihar may have been given a raw deal by both the alliances, but 2014 Lok Sabha results show that in at least 25 parliamentary of the state, women voters turnout in large numbers was instrumental in a candidates’ victory.
While the BJP-led NDA, which has been accusing the opposition of stalling a bill envisaging 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and legislative assemblies, has given tickets to just three women, the Grand Alliance has given tickets to five women.
In 2014 parliamentary elections, 47 women -- 37 general, nine from SC and one ST women -- had contested polls from Bihar. However, only three could win while 36 lost their deposits.
Of the 25 seats which recorded more than 50%, 13 were won by BJP, four by LJP, three by RJD, two by Congress and one each by JD (U), RLSP, NCP.
But contrary to this, the BJP has nominated sitting MP Rama Devi from Sheohar, while the JD (U) has given ticket to Kavita Singh from Siwan and LJP to Veena Singh from Vaishali. From Grand Alliance, Congress has given tickets to three – Ranjit Ranjan (Supaul), Meira Kumar (Sasaram) and Nilam Devi (Munger) while RJD has given tickets to Hena Sahab (Siwan) and Vibha Devi (Nawada).
In 2014, too, the NDA had given three tickets to women, two by the BJP and one by the LJP, while the JD (U) which was then not part of the BJP-led coalition, allotted two seats for women.
Incidentally, Katihar and Kishanganj, which recorded 71.06% and 67.19% women turnout, have no women candidate in fray. Both these constituencies go to poll in second phase on April 18.
The NDA parties defend the ticket distributions. “It was difficult for the party to accommodate more women this time as JD (U) was contesting just 17 seats in the state,” reasoned JD (U) spokesperson and MLC, Neeraj Kumar.
He also listed the decisions taken by Bihar government in the interest of women, such as 50 per cent reservation in urban local bodies and panchayati raj institutions and 35 per cent reservation in all government jobs.
BJP’s state vice president, Devesh Kumar opines that though contended that the party believes in “empowering women”, but the seat-sharing arrangement in the state did not leave them with much of an option.
First Published: Mar 31, 2019 12:56 IST