The fair sex gets an unfair ticket deal
By Tarun Nangia - NEW DELHI
Published: 17th Nov 2013 07:06:32 AM
A woman has led Delhi as its chief minister for the past decade-and-a-half, but that does not seem to have made a dent to the patriarchal undertones of this city housing an estimated 1.75 crore people. The Congress and the BJP have in total given tickets to only 10 women candidates.
When The Sunday Standard asked Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit about women being neglected by major political parties in Delhi in ticket distribution, she said: “Winnability is a major deciding factor, though I feel bad about it.”
The Congress is at the forefront in demanding 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament, but in Delhi Assembly polls, it has given a mere 8.5 per cent of tickets to women.
Of the total 70 candidates, the Congress has fielded only six women. They are Dikshit who is contesting from New Delhi constituency, Women and Child Welfare Minister Kiran Walia (Malviya Nagar), Women’s Commission chief Barkha Shukla (RK Puram), and Dhanwantri Chandela (Rajouri Garden), wife of Congress MLA Dayanand Chandela.
However, the party has encouraged the youth brigade by giving tickets to former Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) president Amrita Dhawan from Tilak Nagar and Ragini Nayak from Janakpuri. Dhawan grew to being a municipal councilor from Vikaspuri while Nayak was DUSU president in the year 2005-06.
Dhawan, who will contest Assembly polls for the first time, will be pitted against three-time BJP MLA from Tilak Nagar OP Babbar’s son Rajiv Babbar.
In a battle of experience versus youth, Nayak will be pitted against BJP veteran Jagdish Mukhi (71), who has served as Delhi’s finance minister.
Even the BJP has barely given tickets to women; only four of 66 candidates selected by the party are women. Among them are former Delhi Mayor Rajni Abbi, who is also law professor in Delhi University. Abbi will contest from Timarpur.
Former mayor Aarti Mehra, who is also the party’s national secretary, would contest polls from Malviya Nagar, where she would be pitted against Congress’s Kiran Walia. BJP Delhi unit general secretary Shikha Rai has got a ticket from Kasturba Nagar while East Patel Nagar councilor Poornima Vidyarthi will contest from Patel Nagar. Party worker Susheela Bagadi would contest elections from Sultanpur Majra.
Even the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has not shown that it is a party with any difference in giving tickets to women candidates. It has awarded tickets to only six women—journalist Rakhi Birla from Mongolpuri, Veena Anand from Patel Nagar, Shazia Ilmi from RK Puram, where she would be pitted against Barkha Shukla of the Congress. Social worker Farhana Anjum has been given ticket from Ballimaran while Bhavna Gaur and Bandana Kumari will contest polls on AAP tickets from Palam and Shalimar Bagh respectively.