Parties may have tough time wooing women voters in Delhi

According to Delhi Election Commission, a total of 51,29,490 voters are women.

As Delhi is heading for a three-cornered contest among ruling Congress, BJP and AAP in the December 4 polls, the parties are likely to have a tough time wooing around 51 lakh women voters who feel security for them is a major issue.

Though the government has claimed it has kept the issue of women's security on its priority list, experts and activists feel not much success has been achieved on this front despite some institutional measures being announced following the December 16 gangrape incident that had triggered massive protests.

The activists believe the parties will have tough time wooing women voters like never before.

"Though infrastructural issues, policing efficiency, electricity and water are burning topics, women's security issue will be high on agenda in the elections this time, and unlike earlier parties can't afford to ignore women voters," says Kalpana Vishwanathan, director of NGO Jagori.

While Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has exuded confidence of a fourth straight victory in the upcoming assembly elections, Ranjana Kumari, Director at Centre for Social Research believes the ruling party will have to bear the brunt of women's anger because of rising cases of violence against them.

"The women voters have all the reasons to feel cheated by the government. The safety issues are every girl's concern but what about the women reservation bill. When there is no representation for women in democracy, why should they vote," she asks.

In an effort to woo women voters, Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi party has already started an initiative called 'women security force' (WSF) in every college and assembly constituency.

"Women in Delhi do not feel safe anymore. Whenever a rape happens in Delhi, the blame is shifted to Delhi Police saying it is not under control. Delhi people do not need a government which is so helpless," an AAP leader said.

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