Congress, BJP field just 11 women candidates for Delhi polls

Women reservationWomen leaders celebrating the passing of Women's Reservation Bill in Rajya Sabha. PTI (file photo)

Both BJP and Congress may have supported the demand for reserving 33 per cent seats for women in Lok Sabha and legislative assemblies but when it comes to fielding women candidates for December 4 polls in Delhi, the two parties fared poorly.

A total of only 11 women candidates have been fielded by BJP and Congress in the election for the 70-member House while from Aam Admi Party, six women are contesting the polls.

A woman Chief Minister is heading the Congress government in Delhi for 15 years, but the party has fielded only six women which is 8.5 per cent of all candidates.

The BJP has fielded five women candidates which is 7.5 per cent of its total 66 contestants. The party has left four seats to its ally Akali Dal (Badal).

The number of tickets given to women candidates by the three leading parties is in sharp contrast to population of women voters in Delhi.

According to electoral roll, a total of 1.19 crore people are eligible to vote out of which over 53 lakh are women and 66 lakh are men.

Out of 810 candidates in the fray, only 70 are women.

In 2008 elections, a total 57 women candidates were in the fray. The parties claimed that fielding less number of women candidates was not "intentional" but "circumstantial".

"The selection of candidates for contesting the polls is circumstantial too. We definitely support 33 per cent reservation for women but there are certain factors influencing the actual representation of women in the polls," former Delhi BJP Chief Vijender Gupta said.

A senior Congress leader said the candidates were finalised solely based on "winnability" criteria.

"We would like more and more women to be politically active and come forward to take up the challenge. We have always encouraged women by fielding women candidates and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has been a strong example," Congress contestant Kiran Walia said.

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