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Delhi polls: 16 women trying their luck, some just to prove a point

IANS  |  New Delhi 

When Delhis 7 seats go to polls on Sunday, 16 women candidates will be among the 164 people testing their political fortunes.

While some of them are confident about getting elected, some others have entered the fray just to register a point.

"We all contest the elections for winning. But it is for the public to decide who they want to elect," Aditi, the sole female candidate from North West Delhi, said when asked about her chances of winning.

In the battle for North West constituency, the three main candidates are BJP's singer-turned-politician Hansraj Hans, Congress' and Aam Aadmi Party's Gugan Singh Ranga.

"You can yourself see how sad the picture is. While 10 male candidates step out to contest the elections, only one female is there. This all happens because the females were always told that their place is inside the house. People don't encourage women to step out and work," said.

The 25-year-old social activist, who is working for the upliftment of the labour class in Bawana and women working as in households in the area, added that the mindset of the society is to be blamed for fewer women stepping out.

"Why females are told that their life is in kitchen? Why women are not encouraged to think? For women to step out, we need to improve the thinking," she added.

Out of the total 16 the city has witnessed since Independence, for seven times only one female candidate was elected and from the 1999 elections, it has been a pattern with one female elected in 2004, 2009 and 2014.

The city did not elect any female candidate six times and thrice has elected more than one woman candidates.

Two female candidates were elected from each in the fifth (1971), 11th (1996) and the 12th (1988) Lok Sabha. In the 1996 and 1998 elections, BJP's Sushma Swaraj and Congress' were elected from

Priyanka, who is contesting from constituency, says the presence of even a single female is a message.

"Though there are only two females, but they are present. People are free to contest election. It is never about how many males and females are there. But the issues they are taking up is important," she added.

from said, "My party is new and in this election, our aim is to register our presence and that people should know about the party."

A practitioner by profession, who is contesting from Chandni Chowk constituency, said the contest is "difficult as the three main parties are in the game from long and also canvassed in a better way."

She said her party has fielded two women, the "maximum" any party has done.

"Initially, our plan was to have three females. But one of our potential candidates had some issue with documents. So we had to drop her. But with two females contesting, we can say our party has given maximum seats to women," she said with a smile.

She said she jumped into as she wanted to serve the people.

On fewer women entering politics, she said females are generally discouraged by their families and close ones besides which they lack confidence themselves.

"The lady herself has to decide if she is ready to deal with the situation. Everything apart from her choice is secondary. The family also plays a crucial role in this but the women should have the confidence that they can take on anything happening around," Deepti said.

"The nowadays is dirty. But we should have faith in ourselves that we can deal with the situation," she said.

She added that political parties too have to show more faith in women.

The number of females contesting in the national capital in these elections has improved when compared to that of 2014 but decreased from that in 2009.

In 2014, out of 150 candidates,13 were women while in 2009, out of 160 candidates, 18 women contested the elections.

The national capital has over 64 lakh female voters out of total of 1.43 crore total electorate.

In the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, all the seven seats of Delhi are mainly witnessing a triangular contest between Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party, the in power at the Centre and the

While all the three parties are vocal about female empowerment, each of them has named only one female candidate among their seven candidates.

The highest number of female candidates are in Chandni Chowk, where out of total 26 candidates, five are women. However, the three parties have named males for the seat.

The five women candidates are 52-year-old from Prism Party, 46-year-old from Right to Recall Party, 42-year-old from Mazdoor Kirayedar Vikas Party, 53-year-old from and an 38-year-old

In North East Delhi, West Delhi and North West Delhi constituencies, only one female candidate is contesting from each seat.

While three-time from is the sole female among 24 candidates in North East Delhi, is the only female among 11 candidates in the fray from North West Delhi.

There is only one woman candidate -- 48-year-old Poonam -- among 23 candidates in West Delhi.

On East Delhi Lok Sabha seat, 37-year-old from Aam Aadmi Party, 38-year-old from of India, 40-year-old of and 64-year-old of the (A) are fighting elections among the total 26 candidates, including cricketer-turned-politician

In Lok Sabha, BJP's 51-year-old -- also the sitting -- is among the two females, with 33-year-old independent Priyanka being the second female among 27 candidates in the fray.

There are two females in the South Delhi seat as well among 27 candidates. 42-year-old from Bharath Party and 35-year-old from Jan Samman Party are contesting in South Delhi.

In 2009 Congress' and in 2014, BJP's Lekhi became the sole females to be elected to the House from the city.

Tirath was also the single elected from Delhi in 2004, while in 1999, BJP's was elected from the Karol Bagh seat.

The city has also elected single female MP in the first, second and eighth Lok Sabha. No female was elected from the city in the third, fourth, sixth, seventh, ninth and 10th Lok Sabha.

(can be contacted at nivedita.singh@ians.in)

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, May 11 2019. 15:26 IST
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