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Apeksha Bagchi

IWB Blogger

Despite Decreasing Number Of Female Candidates In Lok Sabha, Bihar Is Witnessing A Steady Rise In Women Voters

  • IWB Post
  •  March 13, 2019

In 2015, in all five phases of the assembly polls, in Bihar, women voters outnumbered men in many constituencies. The same happened in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls also, where women overtook men in several constituencies. The share of women in electoral politics may remain unsatisfactory, but they constitute over 50% of the elected representatives in panchayats in the state and 60% in the district boards.

As per statistics, women’s representation is higher in Bihar compared to more developed and literate states.

“In the Centre, there is BJP-led government and in Bihar, it is Nitish Kumar. They should take the lead. In Orissa, chief minister Navin Patnaik has taken the lead by announcing 33% quota in allocation of seats for Lok Sabha polls. Unless women get the opportunity at the top, things can’t change,” said RJD MLA Ejya Yadav. “We hope more women will deliver if given the opportunity. At present, seat allocation is yet to be decided in the Grand Alliance, but all parties should help the cause.”

But while the number of women voters is on the rise, the number of women political candidates is steadily decreasing. In the 16th Lok Sabha elections, only three women could make it from Bihar. Presently, the Bihar assembly has 11% women MLAs as only 28 of the 272 contesting women could win.

“Merely talking about 33% quota is not enough. They should make an honest beginning. Just as they make community and caste-wise categories, why can’t they have one for women? Congress is still better than other parties when it comes to woman participation. Whenever women have got the opportunity, they have performed better,” said Congress MLA from Begusarai, Amita Bhushan.

“PM Narendra Modi says that women’s empowerment is important for the country’s development. Women are more sensitive and have proved themselves whenever they got the opportunity. The only thing is that the mindset should change towards women. Winnability will be a factor only when they contest. Now, they are outnumbering men in voting and would certainly dictate choice for candidates also,” said BJP MLA Sukhda Pandey.

H/T: Hindustan Times

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